House Republicans in Texas are now flooding for the exits as Texas's dozen or so suburban districts are bluing up faster than a chameleon in the Danube.
Eight-term Rep. Kenny Marchant, who narrowly won reelection last November, is now the fourth Texas Republican congressman in recent days to pick retirement over an uphill fight for political survival next year.
The growing exodus -- or "Texodus," as Democrats have gleefully characterized the parade of departures -- both reflects and accelerates the GOP's fading grip on Texas. Three of the retirements come in highly competitive districts that Democrats have a good shot of flipping.
Marchant, R-Coppell, hung onto his seat with just 50.6% of the vote last fall. So his exit, made official on Monday, likely makes it harder for Republicans to regain control of the House next year after getting clobbered in last year's midterm elections.
The Republican, who will serve out the remainder of his term, said he was looking forward to spending more time with family after a four-decade career in public office that's seen him serve as a Carrollton mayor and city councilman, a state representative and a member of Congress.
"What a wonderful opportunity it has been to serve them," he said in a news release, referring to his constituents. "I want to thank them for trusting in me."
A number of Democrats had already lined up to run in the district, which covers large sections of Dallas and Tarrant counties and includes Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. On the GOP side, speculation quickly focused on former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. She posted on Facebook that Friday was her last day as regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
And the near-misses for House Dems in 2018 are second chances in other states in 2020 too.
J. D. Scholten, a Democrat who nearly toppled Representative Steve King of Iowa in a heavily Republican district in 2018, announced on Monday that he would run again for the seat in 2020. His decision sets up a possible rematch with Mr. King, whose history of racist remarks has made him a pariah among Republican leaders, though not always with voters.
“Last time, we were hoping to win,” Mr. Scholten said in an interview before the announcement. “Now, we are expecting to win. We know how to do it.”
Mr. King was stripped of his congressional committee assignmentsthis year by House Republicans, after he questioned why white nationalism was offensive. He later said he had nothing to apologize for and would run in 2020 for a 10th term in his deeply conservative district in northwest Iowa.
If he survives a primary challenge next year, Mr. King will appear on the same ballot as President Trump, whose nativism and anti-immigrant remarks Mr. King long foreshadowed. In Mr. King’s Fourth District, which Mr. Trump won by nearly 30 points, voters in the past have either agreed with or overlooked Mr. King’s divisive language about Latino migrants, who sustain much of the agricultural economy there.
“Having Steve King have a voice in Congress, I think that’s at the root of why I feel it’s so important to get him out of office,” Mr. Scholten said.
Mr. Scholten, a former minor league baseball player and a fifth-generation Iowan, said he would once again crisscross the 39 counties of the largely rural district in an R.V., overnighting in Walmart parking lots, while engaging with voters about health care, agriculture and getting corporate money out of politics.
Donald Trump's racism may win him a second term, but it's going to come at the cost of an expanded House Democratic majority and dare I hope...a Senate Democratic majority as well.