Tea-party fervor is alive and well in today's House Republican caucus. But the original conservative Republican revolutionaries are nearly all gone.
Rep. Doc Hastings, who was one of 73 freshman House Republicans when the GOP gained control of the House in 1994, announced his retirement Thursday. In a statement, he said it was time to let his central Washington district pick a new leader.
"Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving Central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people's House," Hastings said.
The House GOP won 54 seats in 1994, part of a Republican wave that year led by future House Speaker Newt Gingrich. But only five of them are trying to return to Congress in 2014: Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., Walter Jones, R-N.C., Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.
Another member of the class of 1994, Rep. Tom Latham, announced his own retirement earlier this cycle.
Hastings's seat, which is heavily Republican, is not expected to be targeted by Democrats in the fall.