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Friday, May 7, 2010

Democrat Obey Bails Out of Congressional Re-Election Bid

Democrat Obey Bails Out of Congressional Re-Election Bid

As the 2010 Congressional elections come into view, a number of Democrats that serve in Congress are calling it quits.    The latest Democrat to call it quits, is the powerful chairman of the Appropriations Committee, David Obey, D-Wisconsin, 7th District.   A member for 40 years, Mr. Obey was one of the biggest spenders in Washington, a political heritage that is more and more difficult to defend with voters back home.

Dateline-WASHINGTON, DC — Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin, the third-most senior member of the House and chairman of the Appropriations Committee, announced Wednesday that he was retiring after four decades in Congress, a decision that reflected both a generational shift and the difficult political environment for Democrats.

        “I’m ready to turn the page,” said Mr. Obey, 71. He told lawmakers and reporters crammed into the committee room where he has held sway for so long that he was “bone tired,” before adding, “And frankly, I think that my district is ready for somebody new, to make a fresh start.”
    Mr. Obey, an occasionally cantankerous figure and die-hard liberal who spearheaded last year’s economic stimulus legislation, was facing a competitive election in his sprawling district, with Republicans trying to show they could threaten senior Democrats.     Source:
So were does this story of Obey retiring fit into the mix of overall retirements in Congress?     He is one of 17 Democrat members, along with 20 Republican members who are not running for the House of Representatives in 2010.

The surprise retirement of Wisconsin Rep. Dave Obey on Wednesday brought the number of Democratic retirements to 17 -- short of the 20 Republicans leaving or running for other offices but still perilously close to the danger zone for Democrats in the 2010 midterms.
By political handicapper Charlie Cook's projections, 13 of the 17 open Democratic seats are marginal -- meaning that they are likely to be competitive between the two parties. There are fewer competitive districts among the 20 Republican retirements with both national House committees likely to spend campaign cash in four or five of the GOP seats.    Washington Post, Fix political blog   

So as the 2010 Election approaches,  37 members of Congress (17 Democrat and 20 Republicans) are stepping aside, rather that facing voters in November.   Clearly the anti-incumbent and anti-Washington mood among voters is creating a difficult reelection environment for members of Congress.   

© 2010, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

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