Another Republican Retirement
Republican Retirements Continue Monday Monday marked the fourth Republican senator of the term to announce their retirement - this time was Richard Shelby of Alabama. He will follow Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), and Richard Burr (NC), who also plan to leave at the end of this session.
Shelby, now 86 years old, began his career in law before jumping to politics, serving first as a lawyer and prosecutor before switching to a special assistant attorney and magistrate. Since the shift, he has held office with the GOP for more than thirty years. Senator Shelby was initially elected to Congress in 1978 and reached the Senate in 1986. His career includes leading four committees: Appropriations, Rules, Banking, and Intelligence.
"Serving in the U.S. Senate has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I have done my best to address challenges and find ways to improve the day-to-day lives of all Americans," he said. His full statement can be found here.
Many in the media and political realms are continuing to ponder what will happen in the 2022 midterm elections with this latest retirement. Historically, the party in power loses seats in the midterm elections, especially when it is immediately after a new President is elected, in this case, the Republican party would benefit. The Republican party picked up 15 seats in the House of Representatives, and it looks likely that they may retake the House, so long as they win at least 8 more seats in 2022.
The Senate’s future after the 2022 midterm elections is much more confusing with the retirements and shifting of politics at the state level. One thing that is becoming clear, is that the Republicans in the Senate will have more seats to defend and that could stretch resources more than expected.