By Annie Russo
In the past 13 days that mark 2012, it seems like there has been an uptick in the number of Senate and House retirements. With some time at home with the family and reevaluations of the downside of traveling, raising money and running for your job every two or six years is enough to make anyone reconsider serving in the legislative branch. I would even venture to add that for many veteran politicians the gridlock on the Hill is enough to push anyone out as well. This year, however, there is another huge factor that we’re seeing coming into play for names and faces that have been a part of the legislative process for decades: redistricting.
When I received the breaking news last week that former Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) had announced his retirement, the two sentence update reminded readers that Lewis had been redistricted into a more liberal leaning seat. Lewis isn’t alone by any means. For many people who are avid watchers of the House floor, it is going to be hard to imagine a heated debate without Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who probably knows the House rules as well as the House parliamentarians. Frank announced late last year that he was retiring after a major change in Massachusetts to his congressional district.
The list is long of those who will end their congressional careers this December. Many will definitely fall casualty to redistricting while others have just decided that it’s time to do something else. Either way, I think it’s only the beginning of what could be a much longer list as primary and general election filing deadlines in most states draw near.