Another senior House Republican plans to retire from Congress
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and a potential successor to retiring Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), said Thursday he won't seek reelection to Congress.
Why it matters: Luetkemeyer adds to an already long list of lawmakers in both parties, including numerous committee chairs and House veterans, opting to leave Congress after a chaotic year of infighting and gridlock.
What he's saying: In a statement, the eight-term congressman said that "after a lot of thoughtful discussion with my family, I have decided to not file for re-election and retire at the end of my term in December."
- "As we tackle the many challenges we face, I hope we remember what someone once said, that 'the greatness of our country is not found in the halls of Congress but in the hearts and homes of our people,'" Luetkemeyer said.
- The chair of the Financial Services subcommittee on National Security, Luetkemeyer had been a frontrunner to succeed McHenry in the next Congress and previously expressed interest in the role.
The big picture: Luetkemeyer is one of roughly more than a dozen House Republicans opting to leave the House or run for higher office.
- That includes Reps. Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), the chairs of the House Appropriations and Covid Select Subcommittees, respectively, and Rep. Drew Ferguson (D-Ga.), the former chief deputy Republican whip.
- Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy resigned at the end of last year.
- Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) is planning to leave later this month to become president of Youngstown State University.
- Around two dozen House Democrats have also said they won't run for reelection.
What we're watching: Luetkemeyer's district, which covers portions of eastern and central Missouri, voted heavily for former President Trump in 2020 and is likely to remain in Republican hands.
- Luetkemeyer's retirement could touch off a fierce Republican primary to replace him.