Apr 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

36-year-old joins wave of House Republican retirements

Rep. Jake LaTurner, wearing a blue suit, walking with House Speaker Mike Johnson, wearing a gray suit, in the Capitol

Rep. Jake LaTurner and House Speaker Mike Johnson. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

A 36-year-old House Republican who has served in Congress just three years said Thursday he will not seek reelection in November.

Why it matters: Rep. Jake LaTurner's (R-Kan.) retirement is a stark addition to a trend of House members in both parties sprinting for the exits after a year filled with infighting and discord.

  • Two House Republicans told Axios they expect more retirement announcements in the coming weeks.

What he's saying: LaTurner, who was first elected in 202o, said in a statement that "after much prayer and consideration, I will not seek reelection this Fall."

  • "It is time to pursue other opportunities and have the benefit of spending more time with my family," he said.
  • LaTurner acknowledged that "the current dysfunction on Capitol Hill is distressing," but added "it almost always has been; we just didn't see most of it."

By the numbers: LaTurner makes nearly 20 House Republican who have left or are planning to leave Congress without immediate plans to run for another office. Another five are seeking higher office.

  • That is in addition to more than a dozen Democrats who are retiring this term and another dozen leaving to seek higher office.
  • Lawmakers have cited as reasons for leaving the growing frustrations of congressional work, increasing incivility between colleagues and a general difficulty in governing.

Zoom in: LaTurner is not the only young House Republican heading for the door.

  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), a 40-year-old onetime GOP rising star, is planning to resign as soon as Saturday to take a job in the private sector.
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the 48-year-old chair of the House Financial Services Committee who reached the zenith of his political career last year as the House speaker pro tempore, is also retiring.

Between the lines: The retirements come as a growing number of right-wing hardliners are threatening to join an effort to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

  • Johnson is moving ahead with plans to hold a vote on a foreign aid package that includes aid to Ukraine, which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has said would trigger a vote to remove him.
  • The three-week speaker vacancy last year spurred a wave of retirements, particularly within the GOP.

Go deeper: House wracked by dysfunction as members plot exits

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to say Rep. Patrick McHenry is chair of the House Financial Services Committee, not Foreign Affairs.

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