Rumor Mill Not Pushing Democrats into Retirement
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:47:57 PM EST
The GOP has been working overtime to try to convince red state Democrats in the House to drop their reelection bids, but more and more it appears that their efforts aren't paying off like they hoped. Last week, Collin Peterson of Minnesota called the rumors that he would leave the House after the next term "baloney", and Chet Edwards, who represents one of the reddest districts in the nation, announced that he, too, would seek another term. Now John Spratt of South Carolina is saying the same thing.
Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) will be running for re-election next year, according to his spokesman, ending rumors that the 14-term congressman was considering retirement.
"Yes, he's running," said Spratt spokesman Chuck Fant in response to an e-mail inquiry from POLITICO.
Spratt, the powerful chairman of the House Budget Committee, hasn't filed re-election papers yet, and has until next March to do so. His decision is a relief for House Democrats, concerned they wouldn't be able to hold his seat if he stepped down.
Spratt was at the top of many speculative retirements lists, given his seniority and the prospect of a competitive re-election against Republican state senator Mick Mulvaney.
Not only have the GOP efforts to drum up a wave of Democratic retirements not yet succeeded, they have in a way backfired as Democratic incumbents representing marginal districts have been pushed off the fence into affirming that they will run for reelection. The outcome could not be worse for Republicans, who might have been able to win in these districts had the Democratic incumbents decided in a few months that they weren't going to run but who now are significantly less likely to be able to win now that the incumbents are in. How this all is good news for the GOP remains to be seen...