Illinois Rep. John Shimkus will become the 12th Republican to give up their seat in House, the New York Post reported. Shimkus announced on Friday that he would not seek re-election in 2020 for another term.
In contrast, only three Democrats have announced that they would not seek another term. It has been a rough adjustment for Republicans who became accustomed to having majorities and chairpersonships of committees.
Shimkus was elected in 1996 to represent the southeastern part of the state in the 15th district. He made the announcement on KMOX radio in St. Louis, Missouri where many of his constituents tune in.
Democrat Wave Sweeps Out Republicans
Other GOP House members not seeking another term include Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Susan Brooks of Indiana, Paul Mitchell of Michigan, Pete Olson of Texas and Martha Roby of Alabama.
In addition, Reps. Rob Bishop of Utah, Mike Conaway, Will Hurd and Kenny Marchant of Texas; and Sean Duffy of Wisconsin will not be seeking re-election or are retiring early.
Republicans dominate Shimkus’s district by double digits, making it likely that Democrats will not be able to flip his seat.
Democrats control the House, but Republicans have the majority in the Senate, and both parties want to both retain their power and flip the other house.
Shimkus famously said in 2009 that God wouldn’t destroy the Earth in a flood because he promised Noah he wouldn’t in the Bible. He made the comments during an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing, and environmentalists mocked his statement that “global warming isn’t something to worry about” because of the Bible.
Nevertheless, Shimkus stood by his comments for years before agreeing to work with Democrats to find ways of combatting climate change that wouldn’t harm businesses and investments.
“I have traveled the district quite a bit, and have only had one constituent who reached out and said, ‘What the heck are you doing?’” Shimkus said in May. “What I tell them we are trying to do is keep a measured approach to reduce the carbon footprint while continuing to have a growing economy.”
It will be nice to get some new conservative blood in Congress, as long as the seat stays Republican.
But how many more Republicans will decide to quit in 2020, and will the GOP be able to make any progress in taking back the House after losing so many experienced incumbents?