Rep. John Conyers on Tuesday became the ninth member of Congress to announce his resignation this year, and the question now is how many more will follow suit.
Most of the early exits were caused by administration appointments, but a string of sexual harassment allegations and the potential for more could conceivably bump the number of vacancies in the 115th Congress into double digits.
With another allegation against Sen. Al Franken Wednesday morning, there is a mounting number of women who have accused the Minnesota Democrat of groping or forcibly kissing them. Rep. Ruben Kihuen’s staff is already looking for new jobs in the wake of a former campaign staffer’s sexual harassment allegation against the Nevada Democrat. And Rep. Blake Farenthold has said he will reimburse taxpayers the $84,000 he used to settle a sexual harassment claim by his former spokeswoman.
None of them have indicated they will leave office early, but staying could lead to difficult reelections. In Farenthold’s case, a Republican primary challenger would need to step forward by next week’s Texas filing deadline.
— Kyle Trygstad