WASHINGTON – Three senior House members announced Tuesday that they would not seek reelection in 2014, offering both parties prime pickup opportunities in the midterm election.
The clearest opportunity for a party switch comes in Utah, where Democrat
Matheson won a seventh term in 2012 by just 768 votes against
"While at the end of 2014 my tenure in the
Latham, a close ally of House Speaker
Wolf, first elected in 1980, represents parts of northern Virginia that are increasingly trending Democratic. Romney narrowly carried his district in 2012, as Wolf cruised to a 19-percentage-point victory.
As Democrats seek a long-shot bid to regain control of the House, districts such as Latham's and Wolf's are prime targets. Currently 16 Republicans represent districts Obama won in 2012, and another 14 represent districts where Romney won by less than 3 percentage points. Democrats need to pick up at least 17 seats to win the majority, pending the outcome of special elections in several districts.
The House is just days into an extended Christmas recess, a time when lawmakers traditionally make retirement announcements.