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Republicans who won't be coming back to Congress after 2018 midterm elections


Republicans who won’t be coming back to Congress after 2018 midterm elections

As the House Ethics Committee investigates allegations of sexual misconduct, Sen. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said Thursday that he will no longer seek reelection in 2018.

Farenthold denied the sexual harassment allegations made against him, but said he “allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional.”

The accusations against Farenthold first surfaced in 2014 when a former aide sued him over sexually suggestive comments and behavior and said she’d been fired after she complained. Farenthold maintained his innocence, and the case was settled in the next year. 

While the explanations have varied, multiple Republican lawmakers have already announced that they would not return to Washington after 2018. In general, fall retirement announcements are nothing new. On average, 22 House members retire each cycle, Roll Call reported.

Here’s the list of Republicans, in the House and Senate, who have announced they will not seek re-election:

Joe Barton

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), manager of the Republican Congressional Baseball team, speaks at a news conference about the recent shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RC13444B1310

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas said he would not seek re-election.

 (Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Embattled Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, announced on Nov. 30 that he was retiring from Congress.

Barton’s announcement came after pressure for him to end his re-election bid mounted. Barton, 68, apologized after a nude photo of him surfaced on social media. He said he engaged in consensual sexual relationships while he was estranged from his second wife.

“I’ve always listened to people in Texas and worked for them in Washington, and I’ve been listening to a lot of people the last week in Texas,” Barton told the Dallas Morning News. “There are enough people who lost faith in me that it’s time to step aside and let there be a new voice for the 6th district in Washington, so I am not going to run for re-election.”

Jason Chaffetz

FILE PHOTO: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) listens to testimony  during a committee hearing about the private email server of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, used during her tenure as Secretary of State, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files - RC14D8B14550

Jason Chaffetz was a congressman from Utah.

 (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Jason Chaffetz of Utah announced in May that he would resign from Congress at the end of June 2017.

“My life has undergone some big changes over the last 18 months. Those changes have been good. But as I celebrated my 50th birthday in March, the reality of spending more than 1,500 nights away from my family over eight years hit me harder than it had before,” Chaffetz said at the time.

He later signed with Fox News as a contributor. John Curtis, a Republican, won a special election in November to replace him.

Bob Corker

FILE - In this April 5, 2016, file photo, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican Donald Trump has narrowed down his vice presidential shortlist to a handful of contenders that he's met with including Corker. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he wouldn’t run for a third term. His feud with President Trump has only escalated.

 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced on Sept. 27 that he will not seek a third term in 2018.

Corker, 65, had previously said that he “couldn’t imagine” serving more than two terms. Corker has often feuded with Trump.

Charlie Dent

FILE - In this March 23, 2017, file photo, Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Dent, leader of an influential caucus of GOP moderates in the House, announced he will not seek re-election to an eighth House term next year. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who has been openly critical of President Donald Trump, announced his retirement in September.

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent said on Sept. 7 that he would not seek re-election. The seven-term congressman told Fox News that he made the decision both for personal reasons and because “the polarization around here is pretty severe.”

Dent, 57, has been openly critical of Trump. He voted against party lines and a repeal of ObamaCare earlier this summer.

Jimmy Duncan

Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., announced in July that he would not seek re-election.

In announcing his retirement, Duncan, 70, thanked conservatives who supported him against “recent attacks against me from the far left.”

“I love my job, but I love my family more.”

– Rep. Duncan

“I have decided I wanted to spend less time in airports, airplanes and traveling around the district and more time with my family, especially my nine grandchildren, who all live in Knoxville,” Duncan said. “I love my job, but I love my family more.”

Roll Call reported that Duncan’s sister, state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, could launch a bid for his empty seat.

Blake Farenthold

Rep. Blake Farenthold arrives before Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies to the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1CC7E0DBA0

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he would not seek reelection. The House Ethics Committee is investigating sexual harassment claims against him.

 (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

After multiple accusations of sexual harassment, misconduct and inappropriate behavior surfaced over the past few weeks, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he won’t run for reelection after all.

The House Ethics Committee said earlier in December that it was expanding a probe into sexual harassment allegations against the lawmaker, which would include an investigation into whether he retaliated against a former staff member for complaining of such behavior. Congressional sources said Farenthold paid an $84,000 settlement using taxpayer money.

In a video posted to his campaign Facebook page, Farenthold said he “allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional.” However, he continued to deny the sexual harassment claims against him.

“It accommodated destructive gossip, off-hand comments, off-color jokes and behavior that in general was less than professional,” Farenthold, 56, said. “And I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outbursts and – too often – a failure to treat people with respect that they deserved. That was wrong.”

“An unprofessional work environment is not a crime, but it’s embarrassing to me and to my family. It reflects poorly on the institution of Congress, on my colleagues and on my constituents, and they deserve better,” he said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Farenthold was “making the right decision to retire,” citing the “unacceptable behavior that has been alleged.”  

But Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Crystal K. Perkins slammed Farenthold’s decision not to run for reelection as “simply not enough,” calling it a “PR stunt.” 

Jeff Flake

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) walks past journalists after announcing he will not run for reelection on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC115CA83EE0

In announcing that he would not run for re-election, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., slammed Republicans and President Trump.

 (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., announced on Oct. 24 that he would not seek re-election. Flake is an ardent critic of Trump.

Flake, 54, faced a tough re-election campaign in Arizona against Kelli Ward, a physician who has also challenged Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Trump has previously said that it was “great” that Ward was running against a “toxic” Flake.

In announcing that he wouldn’t run for re-election, Flake said the GOP is becoming a “backward-looking minority party.”

“It is clear in this moment that a traditional conservative, who believes in limited government and free markets, who is devoted to free-trade, who is pro-immigration, has a narrower and narrower path to nomination in the Republican Party, the party that has for so long defined itself by its belief in those things,” Flake said. 

Trent Franks

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) arrives ahead of FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RC1EE7D72050

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., resigned in December. He said he made some female staffers “uncomfortable” by talking about surrogacy issues.

 (Reuters/Aaron Bernstein)

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks announced on Dec. 8 that his resignation would take affect immediately, despite previously announcing that he’d leave the House in January due to sexual misconduct allegations against him.

He attributed the change in date to his wife’s admittance to the hospital but reports later surfaced alleging Frank repeatedly pressed a former aide to carry his child, offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate.

Franks’ Dec. 7 announcement came as the House Ethics Committee said it was looking into whether he “engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”

Franks, 60, maintained that he never physically intimidated, coerced or had sexual contact with any member of his staff. He said he discussed surrogacy issues with some of his female staff which made them “uncomfortable.”

The conservative congressman said that “in the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff and noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation.”

The Washington Post reported that Franks had asked two female employees to be a surrogate for him and his wife.

Franks initially said he would leave Congress on Jan. 31, 2018 before departing in December. 

Bob Goodlatte

FILE - In this July 10, 2013, file photo House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte,R-Va., speaks with reporters after House Republicans worked on an approach to immigration reform in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol in Washington. A central question is whether the 11 million immigrants already in the US illegally should get a path to citizenship. "We think a legal status in the United States, but not a special pathway to citizenship, might be appropriate," says Goodlatte. He has said that after attaining legal status, immigrants could potentially use the existing avenues toward naturalization, such as family or employment ties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced on Nov. 9 that he would not seek re-election.

 (AP Photo)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte announced on Nov. 9 that he would not seek re-election, saying it is “the right time to step aside.”

The Virginia lawmaker, who has been in Congress since 1993, said he has discussed whether to run for re-election with his wife, Maryellen, every two years. This year’s conversation, Goodlatte said, was different.

“With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters,” Goodlatte, 65, said in a letter. 

Jeb Hensarling

FILE - In this March 22, 2016, file photo Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Hensarling announces he is retiring from the House after more than a decade. The chairman of the Financial Services Committee tells colleagues in an email that he wants to spend more time with his teen-age children. Hensarling is the latest GOP lawmaker to retire as Republicans face headwinds trying to retain control of the House next year. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, will not seek re-election.

 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, announced on Oct. 31 that he will not run for re-election in 2018. 

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” Hensarling, 60, said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Hensarling also added that he wants to spend more time with his family.  

Lynn Jenkins

Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins speaks to supporters after winning re-election in the U.S. midterm race in Kansas, in Topeka, November 4, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - GM1EAB513AF01

Thought to be a candidate for governor in Kansas, Rep. Lynn Jenkins instead said she’ll be returning to the private sector.

 (Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., announced on Jan. 25 that she would not seek re-election or run for another office.

Jenkins, 54, said she wanted to return to the private sector although she was highly rumored to be a possible gubernatorial candidate in Kansas.

Sam Johnson

U.S. House Minority leader John Boehner (L)(R-OH) wipes tears from his face as he listens to fellow rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) speak about his time as a prisoner during the Vietnam war, following a Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington February 13, 2007. Before the House began a debate on an Iraq war resolution Tuesday, Johnson said 34 years ago when he was a prisoner of war, opposition to the conflict from within America hurt the morale of troops on the ground in Vietnam, just as the current resolution may hurt the morale of troops currently in Iraq. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is pictured between Boehner and Johnson.      REUTERS/Jason Reed     (UNITED STATES) - GM1DUPIVZZAA

Longtime Rep. Sam Johnson, 86, announced his retirement in January.

 (Reuters/Jason Reed)

Longtime Texas Rep. Sam Johnson announced his retirement on Jan. 6.

“For me, the Lord has made clear that the season of my life in Congress is coming to an end,” Johnson, 87, said.

Johnson is an Air Force veteran who was a prisoner of war at the infamous Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam.

Raul Labrador

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) talks to the media after a House Freedom Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Files - RC14F0A7AAF0

Rep. Raul Labrador is running for governor in Idaho instead of seeking re-election.

 (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, announced this summer that he would finish out his current term but then run for governor of Idaho in 2018 instead of re-election, according to HuffPost.

Labrador, 50, is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Frank LoBiondo

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2014 file photo, Rep. Frank LoBiondo speaks in Trenton, N.J. LoBiondo announced his retirement on Nov. 7, declaring that “our nation is now consumed by increasing political polarization; there is no longer middle ground.” He will not seek re-election.(AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey announced on Nov. 7 that he would retire from Congress.

 (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., will retire from Congress at the end of his term, Fox News has learned. The 71-year-old assumed his seat in 1995.

LoBiondo’s retirement opens up a seat in a potential swing district. Trump won in it 2016, but former President Barack Obama took the district in 2012.

The GOP lawmaker has differed from his party on certain issues. He voted against the budget framework and has expressed concerns about Republicans’ tax plan, specifically the move to eliminate certain state and local deductions. 

Tim Murphy

FILE - In this March 26, 2015, file photo, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Murphy who was caught up in affair scandal, announces he plans to retire at end of his current term. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., resigned from his position in October following reports that he attempted to pressure his mistress into having an abortion.

 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

GOP Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania announced on Oct. 5 that he would resign his position in Congress. The news followed reports that the lawmaker, who has publicly been staunchly anti-abortion, had an affair and asked his mistress to get an abortion when they believed she was pregnant.

Murphy, 65, said he will “take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties.” 

Kristi Noem

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD) addresses the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, February 10, 2011. The CPAC is a project of the American Conservative Union Foundation. REUTERS/Larry Downing     (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - GM1E72B043M01

Rep. Kristi Noem is running for governor in South Dakota.

 (Reuters/Larry Downing)

Instead of seeking re-election in 2018, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., announced in November 2016 that she will run for governor instead.

In her announcement, Noem, 46, officially kicked off her gubernatorial bid this year.

Steve Pearce

U.S.  Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) walks into a Speaker's office on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RC12A23E3A10

Rep. Steve Pearce is running for governor in New Mexico instead of re-election.

 (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce opted to run for governor of his state instead of re-election in July.

Pearce, 70, has been a congressman for more than 12 years. He told the Albuquerque Journal that as governor he would focus on the exodus of young people leaving the state. 

Ted Poe

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas., questions Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, announced that he would not seek re-election on Nov. 7.

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In a Twitter message, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, announced that he will not seek re-election.

“I am grateful for the honor and privilege to represent the best people in America, Texas’s Second Congressional District. Thanks to the good Lord, I’m in good health, but it’s time for the next step,” Poe, 69, said on Nov. 7.

He added that he’s planning to spend more time with his grandchildren. All 12 of them were born since he’s been in Congress, Poe said. He assumed office in 2005. 

Dave Reichert

FILE - In this July 28, 2017, file photo, Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., arrives for a House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reichert said Sept. 6, 2017, he is retiring from Congress after seven terms. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., has served seven terms in Congress.

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

After serving seven terms in Congress, Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., said he would not seek re-election on Sept. 6. A former sheriff, Reichert, 67, represents a district that is being targeted by Democrats in 2018. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the area in the 2016 election.

Reichert said the decision to retire from Congress was “the right one for my family and me.”

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

In this Nov. 10, 2010 photo, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks with Reuters at her office in Miami.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., was not a strong supporter of President Trump.

 (Reuters/Joe Skipper)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., announced on April 30 that she would not seek re-election. Ros-Lehtinen, 65, has been a congresswoman since 1989.

“The most difficult challenge is not to simply keep winning elections; but rather the more difficult challenge is to not let the ability to win define my seasons,” she said.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Ros-Lehtinen is considered a moderate Republican who was not a strong supporter of Trump.

Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, announced Nov. 2 he would be retiring from Congress at the end of his term.

 (House of Representatives)

Rep. Lamar Smith, a 70-year-old Republican serving Texas, announced Nov. 2 that he would be retiring from Congress at the end of his term.

Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has served in the House of Representatives since 1987.

Luther Strange

Senator Luther Strange prepares to introduce the President Donald Trump during a rally at the Von Braun Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S., September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry - RC1B5A215530

Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., lost the special primary election earlier this year to Roy Moore.

 (Reuters/Marvin Gentry)

Luther Strange, R, was appointed to Jeff Sessions’ old Senate after he was picked to be the attorney general.

But Strange, 64, lost in the special primary election earlier in 2017 to Roy Moore. Moore, who became the GOP nominee for the Senate, eventually lost to Democrat Doug Jones. Strange will vacate his seat once Jones is officially certified and sworn in.

In his farewell speech to the Senate in December, Stranger encouraged his fellow lawmakers to remain committed to bipartisanship.

“To lose the art of balance and compromise in this body is to lose something essentially American,” he said.

Pat Tiberi

FILE - In this Saturday, April 1, 2017, file photo, Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, speaks at DynaLab, Inc., in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Tiberi said Thursday, Oct. 19, that he will resign from his seat to take the helm of a business policy group back home. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, announced Oct. 19 that he would be resigning from office in early 2018 to lead a business policy group.

 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi announced on Oct. 19 that he would resign from Congress in early 2018 to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable, as the association’s president.

Serving as a Republican Congressman for 17 years, Tiberi, 55, said that while he has “not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018.”

Dave Trott

In this Aug. 5, 2014 file photo, Republican David Trott, a candidate for Michigan's 11th congressional district, stands next to his wife, Kappy, during an interview at his election night party in Troy, Mich. In a statement Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., says he will not seek re-election. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., said he will not seek re-election, potentially paving the way for the Republican-leaning district to flip.

 (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., announced on Sept. 11 that he would not seek re-election.

Trott, 57, will retire at the end of his second term. His district is Republican-leaning, but analysts told the Detroit News that a Democrat could flip the seat.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

Source: Republicans who won’t be coming back to Congress after 2018 midterm elections

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