Rule of Threes: Third House Retirement Opens Door for Democrats

Iowa Republican one of only 17 Republicans to represent a district President Obama won last year

National Journal
Scott Bland
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Scott Bland
Dec. 17, 2013, 12:44 p.m.

Rep. Tom Lath­am, R-Iowa, an­nounced Tues­day that he will not seek reelec­tion in 2014, mark­ing the third House re­tire­ment of the day in a battle­ground dis­trict.

Lath­am, a 10-term vet­er­an, beat Demo­crat­ic Rep. Le­onard Boswell in a mem­ber-versus-mem­ber con­test in 2012 after both were drawn in­to the same dis­trict un­der Iowa’s new House maps. In do­ing so, Lath­am be­came one of just 17 House Re­pub­lic­ans to win a dis­trict that Pres­id­ent Obama also car­ried in 2012, with 51 per­cent of the vote. His re­tire­ment gives Demo­crats a ma­jor op­por­tun­ity to re­take the seat next year.

The Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee has already tapped former state Sen. Staci Ap­pel as a mar­quee can­did­ate for the dis­trict, and she’ll now have a head start on a Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent head­ing in­to next year.

This is the third Obama-Re­pub­lic­an House seat to open this year: Rep. Jon Run­yan, R-N.J., also re­tired, and former Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., died in Oc­to­ber. An­oth­er vet­er­an Re­pub­lic­an from a closely di­vided dis­trict, Rep. Frank Wolf of Vir­gin­ia, also an­nounced his re­tire­ment Tues­day, as did Rep. Jim Math­eson, D-Utah, whose con­ser­vat­ive-lean­ing seat is likely to flip to the GOP in 2014.

Lath­am had toyed with the idea of run­ning for Sen­ate earli­er this year, but he said in his state­ment that he “will not be a can­did­ate for any of­fice” in 2014.

Rep. Tom Lath­am, R-Iowa, an­nounced Tues­day that he will not seek reelec­tion in 2014, mark­ing the third House re­tire­ment of the day, all of them in battle­ground dis­tricts. Lath­am, a 10-term vet­er­an, beat Demo­crat­ic Rep. Le­onard Boswell in a mem­ber-versus-mem­ber con­test in 2012 after both were drawn in­to the same dis­trict un­der Iowa’s new House maps be­cause Iowa lost a con­gres­sion­al seat. In do­ing so, Lath­am be­came one of just 17 House Re­pub­lic­ans to win a dis­trict that Pres­id­ent Obama also car­ried in 2012, with 51 per­cent of the vote, and Lath­am’s re­tire­ment gives Demo­crats a ma­jor op­por­tun­ity to re­take the seat next year. The Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee has already tapped former state Sen. Staci Ap­pel as a mar­quee can­did­ate for the dis­trict, and she’ll now have a head start on a Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent head­ing in­to next year. This is the third Obama-Re­pub­lic­an House seat to open this year: Rep. Jon Run­yan, R-N.J., also re­tired, and former Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., died in Oc­to­ber. An­oth­er vet­er­an Re­pub­lic­an from a closely di­vided dis­trict, Rep. Frank Wolf of Vir­gin­ia, also an­nounced his re­tire­ment Tues­day, as did Rep. Jim Math­eson, D-Utah, whose con­ser­vat­ive-lean­ing seat is likely to flip to the GOP in 2014. Lath­am had toyed with the idea of run­ning for Sen­ate earli­er this year, but he said in his state­ment that he “will not be a can­did­ate for any of­fice” in 2014.Rep. Tom Lath­am, R-Iowa, an­nounced Tues­day that he will not seek reelec­tion in 2014, mark­ing the third House re­tire­ment of the day, all of them in battle­ground dis­tricts. Lath­am, a 10-term vet­er­an, beat Demo­crat­ic Rep. Le­onard Boswell in a mem­ber-versus-mem­ber con­test in 2012 after both were drawn in­to the same dis­trict un­der Iowa’s new House maps be­cause Iowa lost a con­gres­sion­al seat. In do­ing so, Lath­am be­came one of just 17 House Re­pub­lic­ans to win a dis­trict that Pres­id­ent Obama also car­ried in 2012, with 51 per­cent of the vote, and Lath­am’s re­tire­ment gives Demo­crats a ma­jor op­por­tun­ity to re­take the seat next year. The Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee has already tapped former state Sen. Staci Ap­pel as a mar­quee can­did­ate for the dis­trict, and she’ll now have a head start on a Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent head­ing in­to next year. This is the third Obama-Re­pub­lic­an House seat to open this year: Rep. Jon Run­yan, R-N.J., also re­tired, and former Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., died in Oc­to­ber. An­oth­er vet­er­an Re­pub­lic­an from a closely di­vided dis­trict, Rep. Frank Wolf of Vir­gin­ia, also an­nounced his re­tire­ment Tues­day, as did Rep. Jim Math­eson, D-Utah, whose con­ser­vat­ive-lean­ing seat is likely to flip to the GOP in 2014. Lath­am had toyed with the idea of run­ning for Sen­ate earli­er this year, but he said in his state­ment that he “will not be a can­did­ate for any of­fice” in 2014.Rep. Tom Lath­am, R-Iowa, an­nounced Tues­day that he will not seek reelec­tion in 2014, mark­ing the third House re­tire­ment of the day, all of them in battle­ground dis­tricts. Lath­am, a 10-term vet­er­an, beat Demo­crat­ic Rep. Le­onard Boswell in a mem­ber-versus-mem­ber con­test in 2012 after both were drawn in­to the same dis­trict un­der Iowa’s new House maps be­cause Iowa lost a con­gres­sion­al seat. In do­ing so, Lath­am be­came one of just 17 House Re­pub­lic­ans to win a dis­trict that Pres­id­ent Obama also car­ried in 2012, with 51 per­cent of the vote, and Lath­am’s re­tire­ment gives Demo­crats a ma­jor op­por­tun­ity to re­take the seat next year. The Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee has already tapped former state Sen. Staci Ap­pel as a mar­quee can­did­ate for the dis­trict, and she’ll now have a head start on a Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent head­ing in­to next year. This is the third Obama-Re­pub­lic­an House seat to open this year: Rep. Jon Run­yan, R-N.J., also re­tired, and former Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., died in Oc­to­ber. An­oth­er vet­er­an Re­pub­lic­an from a closely di­vided dis­trict, Rep. Frank Wolf of Vir­gin­ia, also an­nounced his re­tire­ment Tues­day, as did Rep. Jim Math­eson, D-Utah, whose con­ser­vat­ive-lean­ing seat is likely to flip to the GOP in 2014. Lath­am had toyed with the idea of run­ning for Sen­ate earli­er this year, but he said in his state­ment that he “will not be a can­did­ate for any of­fice” in 2014.Rep. Tom Lath­am, R-Iowa, an­nounced Tues­day that he will not seek reelec­tion in 2014, mark­ing the third House re­tire­ment of the day, all of them in battle­ground dis­tricts.Lath­am, a 10-term vet­er­an, beat Demo­crat­ic Rep. Le­onard Boswell in a mem­ber-versus-mem­ber con­test in 2012 after both were drawn in­to the same dis­trict un­der Iowa’s new House maps be­cause Iowa lost a con­gres­sion­al seat. In do­ing so, Lath­am be­came one of just 17 House Re­pub­lic­ans to win a dis­trict that Pres­id­ent Obama also car­ried in 2012, with 51 per­cent of the vote, and Lath­am’s re­tire­ment gives Demo­crats a ma­jor op­por­tun­ity to re­take the seat next year.The Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee has already tapped former state Sen. Staci Ap­pel as a mar­quee can­did­ate for the dis­trict, and she’ll now have a head start on a Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent head­ing in­to next year.This is the third Obama-Re­pub­lic­an House seat to open this year: Rep. Jon Run­yan, R-N.J., also re­tired, and former Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., died in Oc­to­ber. An­oth­er vet­er­an Re­pub­lic­an from a closely di­vided dis­trict, Rep. Frank Wolf of Vir­gin­ia, also an­nounced his re­tire­ment Tues­day, as did Rep. Jim Math­eson, D-Utah, whose con­ser­vat­ive-lean­ing seat is likely to flip to the GOP in 2014.Lath­am had toyed with the idea of run­ning for Sen­ate earli­er this year, but he said in his state­ment that he “will not be a can­did­ate for any of­fice” in 2014.
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