April 2, 2018
3rd term Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut will retire at the end of the year, she announced Monday. Reports surfaced last week that Esty failed to remove her Chief of Staff for several months after learning that he had threatened to kill a colleague. Making matters worse, Esty wrote a letter of recommendation for the fired staffer which he used to get a job at Sandy Hook Promise, a group created after the Newtown school shooting in 2012.
Esty's 5th district is located in the Western part of the state. Esty won reelection by 16% in 2018, while Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump here by just 4%. Sabato's Crystal Ball moved the district from safe to likely Democrat after the scandal broke, and is maintaining that rating until there's more clarity in who's running. It is worth noting that no Republican has won a congressional race in the state since Christopher Shays was elected to an 11th term in November, 2006.
There are now 54 current House members not seeking reelection in the 2018 midterms. Esty is the 17th Democrat.
Candidates that earn any pledged delegates in Iowa will make the stage, with an alternate polling and donor path also available.
Vermont to follow Saturday; both states hold their primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3
While the nominee will be someone else, the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Mike Enzi is safely Republican.
The New Jersey Senator had been polling 2-3% nationally; missed the cut for Tuesday's debate
9th in our series: Idaho last voted Democratic in a presidential election back in 1964. Little reason to think that will change in 2020