Pelosi Hit With Another Retirement

Pelosi Hit With Another Retirement

Rep. (D-Tenn.) has added his name to the House Democrats’ retirement list.

Cooper’s announcement this afternoon makes him the 29th Democrat to confirm they’re not seeking reelection. (RELATED: Democrat’s Retirement Reveals Top Pickup Opportunity)

The news comes after the Republican-dominated state legislature redrew his Nashville-based district. The GOP proposal splits Democratic-leaning Davidson County into thirds, transforming the entire region into a conservative stronghold. (RELATED: Kinzinger Announces Retirement While Hinting at Political Comeback)

Republicans have a supermajority in both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly. Observers expect their map to sail through the legislature.

Cooper has served in Congress for 32 years.

The Tennessean reports:

Cooper said he made the decision now to allow others more time to campaign. The Democratic primary is Aug. 4. Feb. 7 is when candidates can begin picking up paperwork to run and April 7 is the qualifying deadline.

Unfortunately, for Democrats, Cooper’s longtime seat (Tennessee’s 5th District) is going from having a partisan lean of D+17 to R+15. (RELATED: The Legislative Battles That Could Decide Control of Congress)

The new 5th will take in parts of Davidson, Williamson and Wilson counties, along with rural Lewis, Maury and Marshall counties.

A Tennessee native, Cooper was born into one of the state’s strongest political dynasties. His father, William Prentice Cooper, served as Tennessee’s 39th governor, while younger brother John is now mayor of Nashville. 

For Speaker Pelosi, today’s announcement marks but the latest disappointment for House Democrats. Retaining a razor-thin majority in a midterm election is always difficult for the president’s party. Doing so amid a rapid series of retirements may be well-nigh impossible.

At the same time, Cooper and Pelosi had a complicated relationship. The Tennessee Democrat fashioned himself a moderate. As a senior member of the Blue Dog Coalition, Cooper consistently voted against to serve as his party’s leader.

The Hill explains:

House members can cast votes for anyone they want for Speaker – even people who don’t serve in Congress – and Cooper expressed support for alternatives ranging from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) in 2017. But last year, with Democrats’ smallest majority in decades, Cooper broke his streak and backed Pelosi.

Cooper said he doesn’t yet know “what the future holds” but that he is looking forward to getting to “make up for lost time with family and friends.”

Just last week, two House Democrats announced their retirements, Reps. Jerry McNerney (Calif.) and Jim Langevin (R.I.).

ALN reported at the time:

The latest announcements come as poll numbers point to a midterm shellacking. Indeed, Gallup reported yesterday that political party preferences shifted from a decisive nine-point Democratic advantage in 2021 to a clear five-point Republican edge in 2022.

California’s new congressional map made McNerney’s district significantly more competitive. Under the right circumstance, he could’ve faced a strong challenge. Langevin’s district is safer for Democrats, but no one likes being in the minority.

Republicans only need to flip five seats in the House to regain the majority.

So, what do you think? How confident are you that Republicans will win the House in 2022? As always, tell us in the comments below!

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