(FreedomBeacon.com)- Democrats were already staring down a big challenge going into next year’s midterm elections as they seek to somehow retain their slight majority in both the House and Senate.
Now, they are facing an even bigger problem — prominent members of Congress are stepping aside.
On Monday, Stephanie Murphy, a Democratic representative from Florida, announced she would not be seeking another term. That announcement came just one day after Albio Sires, a Democratic representative from New Jersey, announced the same.
Murphy’s retirement announcement made it three prominent Democrats in the House who have decided to retire in the last week. California Representative Alan Lowenthal said he’d be retiring, too.
With these three retirement announcements, that now makes 22 Democrats that are either running for a different office or retiring entering the 2022 midterm election cycle. Compare that to just 11 Republicans who are doing the same, and it’s obvious that Democrats have some trouble on their hands.
In the last election cycle two years back, only nine Democrats announced plans to retire compared to 24 Republicans.
Attrition is always expected in Congress, but for the Democrats, it’s not just the sheer number of upcoming departures that’s a problem, it’s the people who are departing.
Murphy was at one point expected to seek a Senate seat in the 2022 midterm elections, as she was considered a rising star in the ranks. That was until Representative Val Demings decided to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
Instead of dealing with another prominent Democrat in a primary race, and to avoid the potential negative effects of redistricting, Murphy decided instead to step aside.
If redistricting in Florida changes the 7th District into more conservative, it could spell doom for liberals in the House.
Other prominent Democrats who are stepping away from their posts include John Yarmuth, the chair of the House Budget Committee, and Eddie Bernice Johnson, the chair of the Science, Space and Technology Committee.
All of the retirement announcements, plans for redistricting and poor outlook in next year’s midterms have sunk morale within the Democratic ranks in Washington, according to sources who spoke with various media outlets.
Speaking to CNN about the morale among House Democrats, Representative Cheri Bustos, who is also retiring, said:
“We have got a problem here. There are way too many people serving as members of Congress right now who I not only don’t look up to, I have zero respect for. And I’m saddened to have to say that.”
Bustos also said she doesn’t believe all Democrats are “team players” anymore, though she wouldn’t identify any people by name. That view is something that she apparently shares with other Democrats in Congress, some of whom are retiring.
Bustos, who used to be the chair of the campaign arm of the Democratic Party, expressed her concerns for the future when she said:
“When you’ve only got a three- or four-vote majority and you see people who are in tough districts announcing that they’re not running for re-election, yeah, everybody worries about what’s ahead.”