US House retirements are now becoming an epidemic. The latest is five-term Mississippi Republican Rep. Gregg Harper, who holds the Jackson-anchored 3rd District. The Congressman announced yesterday that he will not stand for re-election, becoming the 30th current Republican not to run for another term. This is in addition to 15 Democrats who have taken the same course. Less than half of the exiting group, 18 in all so far, are running for another office, either Senator or Governor with one already announcing for the 2020 presidential contest. The remainder are voluntarily retiring or have already resigned typically because of sexual harassment allegations.
The 3rd District, which occupies most of central Mississippi, has a safely Republican voting history. Therefore, the eventual Republican nominee will be a heavy favorite to hold the seat for the GOP. Of the now 45 House seats that are open for either the general or an upcoming special election (PA-18 (Vacant; Murphy); AZ-8 (Vacant; Franks); OH-12 (Tiberi)), only a dozen can be considered in a toss-up or Lean (R or D) category. Of these twelve, five are Democratic seats.
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