The trouble started, somewhat cryptically, last week, when Politico reported that Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) had "abruptly parted ways" with his chief of staff. The same report noted that the far-right freshman, just a year and a half into his congressional career, was considering retirement, though the underlying controversy was unclear.
A day later, the Virginia Republican held a rambling press conference in which he defiantly declared he'd run for re-election. Garrett said there was "no way in heck" he'd retire.
The story, however, was just starting to unfold. A day after the congressman insisted he wasn't going anywhere, Politico spoke to several of Garrett's former staffers and found that the congressman and his wife treated his staff like "personal servants," assigning them tasks that ranged "from grocery shopping to fetching the congressman's clothes to caring for their pet dog, all during work hours."
Yesterday, the Virginian came to terms with his circumstances.
Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., said Monday that he was an alcoholic and added his name to the growing list of lawmakers not seeking re-election in November's midterm elections, his spokesman confirmed. [...]Garrett described his retirement as "a new beginning" driven not by a fear of losing but by "knowing where your priorities should be." His alcoholism, he added, was the "one area that I haven't been honest."
At least for now, it appears that Garrett, a member of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, will not resign from Congress before his term ends in January.
And on that note, it seems like a good time to update the overall congressional retirement list:
Total # of House retirements: 58 (39 Republicans and 19 Democrats, including John Conyers and Louise Slaughter)Total # of House retirements with members running for higher office: 21 of the 58 (13 Republicans and 8 Democrats)Total # of House retirements with members leaving elected office altogether: 37 of the 58 (26 Republicans and 11 Dems including Conyers and Slaughter)Total # of Senate retirements: 5 (4 Republicans and 1 Democrat, including Al Franken and Thad Cochran)
House Republicans retiring from elected office (26):California 39: Ed RoyceCalifornia 49: Darrell IssaFlorida 15: Dennis RossFlorida 17: Tom RooneyFlorida 27: Ileana Ros-LehtinenKansas 2: Lynn JenkinsMichigan 11: Dave TrottMississippi 3: Gregg HarperNew Jersey 2: Frank LoBiondoNew Jersey 11: Rodney FrelinghuysenPennsylvania 15: Charlie DentPennsylvania 9: Bill ShusterPennsylvania 7: Pat MeehanPennsylvania 8: Ryan CostelloSouth Carolina 4: Trey GowdyTennessee 2: Jimmy DuncanTexas 2: Ted PoeTexas 3: Sam JohnsonTexas 5: Jeb HensarlingTexas 21: Lamar SmithTexas 6: Joe BartonTexas 27: Blake FarentholdVirginia 5: Tom GarrettVirginia 6: Bob GoodlatteWashington 8: Dave ReichertWisconsin 1: Paul Ryan
House Republicans retiring to seek higher office (13):Arizona 2: Martha McSally (running for Senate)Florida 6: Ron DeSantis (running for governor)Idaho 1: Raúl Labrador (running for governor)Indiana 4: Todd Rokita (running for Senate)Indiana 6: Luke Messer (running for Senate)New Mexico 2: Steve Pearce (running for governor)North Dakota AL: Kevin Cramer (running for Senate)Ohio 16: Jim Renacci (running for governor)Pennsylvania 11: Lou Barletta (running for Senate)South Dakota at-large: Kristi Noem (running for governor)Tennessee 6: Diane Black (running for governor)Tennessee 7: Marsha Blackburn (running for Senate)West Virginia 3: Evan Jenkins (running for Senate)
House Republicans who’ve already resigned before the midterms (5), not including those who’ve joined the Trump cabinet:Arizona 8: Trent FranksOhio 12: Pat TiberiPennsylvania 18: Tim MurphyUtah 3: Jason ChaffetzTexas 27: Blake Farenthold
House Republicans who left Congress to join Trump's cabinet (5):Georgia 6: Tom PriceKansas 4: Mike PompeoMontana AL: Ryan ZinkeOklahoma 1: Jim BridenstineSouth Carolina 5: Mick Mulvaney
House Democrats retiring and leaving politics (10):Connecticut 5: Elizabeth EstyIllinois 4: Luis GutierrezMassachusetts 3: Niki TsongasMichigan 9: Sandy LevinMinnesota 8: Rick NolanNevada 4: Ruben KihuenNew Hampshire 1: Rep. Carol Shea-PorterNew York 25: Louis Slaughter (who passed away in March)Pennsylvania 1: Bob BradyTexas 26: Gene Green
House Democrats retiring to seek higher office (8):Arizona 9: Kyrsten Sinema (running for Senate)Colorado 2: Jared Polis (running for governor)Hawaii 1: Colleen Hanabusa (running for governor)Maryland 6: John Delaney (running for president)New Mexico 1: Michelle Lujan Grisham (running for governor)Minnesota 1: Tim Walz (running for governor)Nevada 3: Jacky Rosen (running for Senate)Texas 16: Beto O’Rourke (running for Senate)
House Democrats who’ve already resigned before the midterms (1):Michigan 13: John Conyers
Senate Republicans retiring or resigning (4):Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
Senate Democrats retiring or resigning (1):Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)