Two big retirements in the House of Representatives today.
Frank Wolf, a Republican who represents Virginia’s tenth district and has served in Congress since 1981, is retiring. His district includes parts of Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, and Warren Counties — an R+2 suburban district with a high number of federal government employees that Democrats are likely to find friendly territory for a takeover.
Jim Matheson, a Democrat in Utah whom the NRCC found to be a frustratingly difficult lawmaker to defeat, is also retiring. Matheson’s fourth congressional district is a stunning R+14, so Democrats will have an extremely difficult time keeping the seat. While it’s likely that many Utah Republicans will explore a bid, Mia Love’s path to Congress just got a lot easier.
If Obama’s budget proposal is giving you a headache, be thankful you’re not one of the few remaining members of that endangered species known as Blue Dog Democrats. Poor Jim Matheson of Utah is none too eager to weigh in on Obama’s gargantuan budget proposal:
There was plenty of reaction floating out there in news land after President Barack Obama submitted his budget to Congress yesterday — some of it good, some of it bad, a lot of it trying to play both sides. But no one heard from Utah’s lone Democrat in Congress, Rep. Jim Matheson.
On Tuesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a release attacking Matheson for his silence on the budget, noting some Democratic colleagues’ sniping on the spending plan for fiscal 2012 . . . I asked Matheson’s office for his comments on the budget yesterday and was told he was on a plane an unable to comment. On Tuesday, Matheson’s office declined to comment on the NRCC hit.
Matheson is one of those increasingly rare red-district Democrats who manage to enjoy personal popularity despite their districts’ heavy partisan tilt. Utah’s 2nd congressional district scores R+15 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index, and Republican Mike Lee won the Senate race in a walk, but Matheson hung on with 50.66 percent to GOP challenger Morgan Philpot’s 45.94 percent.