It’s remarkable that Rep. Kenny Marchant is the fourth Texas Republican in less than two weeks to opt against another term. And it’s remarkable that nine of the 11 retiring House members thus far this cycle are Republicans, especially since Democrats outnumber them in Congress.
Where those retirements happen continues to be the question. The consequences of Marchant’s announcement are similar to the fallout from fellow Texas Rep. Pete Olson’s decision.
The races for both Olson’s 22nd District and Marchant’s 24th District were rated as competitive before the incumbents announced their retirements, so there is no change in the number of vulnerable GOP seats. The contest in Texas’ 23rd District had also been rated as competitive, but Republican incumbent Will Hurd’s retirement puts his party in a tough spot, given his unique appeal as someone who could assemble a winning coalition in a majority-minority district. So that race rating changed from Toss-up to Leans Democratic. Republican K. Michael Conaway is not seeking reelection in Texas’ 11th District, and the race to replace him remains Solid Republican for now.
Similar to other districts and states around the country, your view of the competitiveness of Marchant’s Dallas-Fort Worth-area district depends on whether you think the 2016 and 2018 election results were the new foundation for Democratic performance, or a high-water mark.
Read more at Roll Call.