Two more House Democrats announce they will not seek reelection

As I was just saying, there’s lots of evidence that Democrats know they are in for a shellacking in November. One thing that makes this clear is the fact that there are 26 Democrats who’ve decided not to run for again. Did I say 26? Actually, as of today that number is 28 after two more House Democrats called it quits.

Long-serving Democratic Reps. Jim Langevin of Rhode Island and Jerry McNerney of California announced Tuesday that they will not be seeking reelection in November, joining the more than two dozen House Democrats planning to retire after this term of Congress…

California’s redistricting commission last month formally approved the state’s new congressional map, which still favors Democrats but could create an opportunity for Republicans in the newly created 9th District that encompasses Stockton and San Joaquin county.

Eight-term congressman Jerry McNerney posted a thread on Twitter about his decision.

The Sacramento Bee reports that McNerney’s decision to leave the new 9th district means another incumbent Democrat, Rep. Josh Harder, will jump into that race. As for Rep. Langevin, he made his announcement in a column for the Providence Journal:

For the last 37 years, I have woken up every day with one goal in mind: serving the people of Rhode Island. After all, I love this state, and I love the people who live here. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to represent Rhode Islanders as a delegate and secretary to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention, as State Representative, as Secretary of State, and now, as a United States Congressman…

I have not come to this decision lightly, but it is time for me to chart a new course, which will allow me to stay closer to home and spend more time with my family and friends. And while I don’t know what’s next for me just yet, whatever I do will always be in service of Rhode Island.

Langevin’s decision was called “shocking” by Politico which notes that last April he had vowed to run again.

Rhode Island has not yet completed redistricting, but draft lines under consideration by the state legislature would keep both seats tilting toward Democrats.

Langevin’s departure is shocking in part because Rhode Island defied most reapportionment projections to keep its second House district after the 2020 Census. And when it was at risk of dropping down to one at-large district, Langevin insisted he planned to seek reelection — even if it meant challenging his fellow Democratic Rep. David Cicilline.

“I’m definitely running for reelection,” Langevin said in a brief interview as he exited the House floor ahead of the release of the Census reapportionment data in April 2021.

Rep. Langevin got 58% of the vote in 2020 so if he ran again he’d have a good shot at winning but clearly working in the minority isn’t as much fun and that’s what Democrats see in their near future. And anyway, what would they have to run on this year?

Are we getting close to the end of this exodus or will we see more retirements before the month is over? The thing about retirements is that every Democrat who jumps ship reinforces the idea that now is a good time to bow out on a positive note. There are probably a few more Democrats who are still pondering it and some nervous folks at the DNC who are hoping the tally doesn’t get too much bigger.

Update: CNN’s Manu Raju notes this is quite a difference from the lead up the 2020 election (when Democrats were projected to gain seats).