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Congress Update: Recent and Pending Vacanies; Retirements Announced

January 26, 2017

Two vacanies have arisen this week in the House of Representatives as a result of political appointments. Additional vacancies may be forthcoming as President Trump's nominations are confirmed. Lastly, several House Members have announced they will not be running for re-election in 2018.


  • Mike Pompeo (R, KS-03) resigned on January 23rd after being confirmed as CIA Director. A special election for this safely Republican seat will take place on April 11.
  • Xavier Becerra (D, CA-34) resigned on January 24th after being confirmed as California Attorney General. A primary election for this safely Democratic seat will take place on April 4. In the unlikely event that one candidate gets over 50%, there will be no general election. Otherwise, that election will take place on June 6th.

With these two vacancies, the House sits at 240 Republicans, 193 Democrats.

Awaiting Confirmation

  • Mick Mulvaney (R, SC-05) is awaiting confirmation as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. A special election would likely take place in the spring. While Republicans would be favored to hold the seat, it could be competitive with a strong Democratic nominee. Mulvaney, just beginning his 4th term, is the first Republican to hold this seat since 1883.
  • Tom Price (R, GA-06) is awaiting confirmation as Secretary of Health & Human Services. A special election would follow his departure from Congress, no less than 30 days after his seat opens. Price won re-election to his north Atlanta district in November with 62% of the vote, although Donald Trump won the District by less than 2%. While Republicans would likely be favored to hold the seat, this election could be competitive.
  • Ryan Zinke (R, MT-AL) is awaiting confirmation as Secretary of the Interior. Zinke won re-election to his statewide seat by 15% in November; Trump won here by 21%. A special election would be held between 85-100 days after Zinke leaves office. Republicans would be heavily favored to hold the seat.
  • Republican Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is awaiting confirmation as United States Attorney General. He is not up for re-election until 2020. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley would appoint a replacement for Sessions until a special election is held. That election will most likely coincide with the 2018 general election.

Retirements (not running for re-election in 2018) have been announced by:

  • Michelle Lujan Grisham (D, NM-01)
  • Lynn Jenkins (R, KS-02)
  • Sam Johnson (R, TX-03)
  • Kristi Noem (R, SD-AL)

Grisham and Noem are running for governor in 2018.

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