DemDaily: The House Casualty List. The Update!

December 18, 2023

Less than one year away from the 2024 elections, the number of members departing the US House of Representatives next November stands at 37, with the addition of eleven new members in the last month alone -- including one former Speaker, one member running for President, and one that was expelled from Congress.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R), whose tumultuous nine-month tenure as the lower chamber's leader ended with his becoming the first speaker in history to be ousted by his colleagues, announced December 6 that he would be resigning before the end of the 2023.

In an Op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, the nine-term California Republican (CD-20) wrote, “I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways. I know my work is only getting started," he said, adding that he will be working to help “recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office.”

McCarthy's announcement came one day after nine-term Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), who served as Speaker Pro Tempore for three weeks following the overthrow of McCarthy and the election of Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), announced that he would not be running for reelection.

McCarthy's pending departure brings to a total four special elections -- as of now -- that will be held in 2024. On November 12, Democrat Brian Higgins (NY-26), announced that he will step down in February 2024, and Republican Bill Johnson (OH-06) on November 21, said he will be leaving in March 2024 to become the new President of Youngstown State University.

In another Republican landmark, embattled freshman Republican George Santos (NY-3) on December 1 became only the sixth member in US history -- and only the third since the Civil War era -- to be expelled from Congress. The special election for his Long Island-based seat is scheduled for February 13, 2024.

The partisan breakdown of the 118th Congress of the US House of Representatives stands at 222 Republicans to 213 Democrats, including the current Santos (R) vacancy in New York.

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips (D-03) who declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in October, announced November 24 that, regardless of the outcome, he will not be running for reelection to Congress in 2024.

Other congressional members who have recently revealed their plans to retire in 2024 include Democrats Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Anna Eshoo (CA-16), Kathy Manning (NC-6) and Wiley Nichel (NC-13).

Republicans Ben Wenstrup (OH-2) and Drew Ferguson (GA-3) will also be leaving office at the end of 2024.

All told, the 23 Democrats and 14 Republicans who have left, or plan to leave, the US House by November, 2024 are still far from the last.

On average, 52 members have left each cycle since 2012.

DemList will keep you informed.

DemDaily: Congress Expels Santos 12/1/23
DemDaily: The House Casualty List 11/16/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Ballotpedia, US House, Reuters, NBC, Cook Political Report, AP

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