Democrats are concerned about the outcome of the Massachusetts special election that resulted in a come-from-behind win for State Senator Scott Brown. As pundits are now saying, no seat is safe. Republicans are feeling emboldened by the win. Pundits wisely point out that incumbent Republicans should still be cautious since the political mood is best described as anti-incumbent as opposed to being in favor of any one party.
But what does a special Senate election in Massachusetts have to do with local politics in Pennsylvania? Quite a lot, actually.
The anticipated struggle of incumbents and mood that independents may continue to break right-of-center this year means that retirements will likely kick into high gear over the next month or two. Already, we have witnessed the announcements of a handful of NRA A or A+ rated incumbents who will not seek re-election in the fall.
- Speaker of the House Keith McCall (D-122)
Rep. Paul Clymer (R-105)
- Rep. Merle Phillips (R-108)
- Rep. Russ Fairchild (R-85)
- Rep. Katie True (R-41)
- Rep. Will Gabig (R-199)
- Rep. Don Walko (D-20)
- Rep. Craig Dally (R-138)
- Rep. Rich Grucela (D-137)
- Sen. Ray Musto (D-14)
Some may be retiring hoping that their seat is more likely to stay in the hands of their current party. Â Others may anticipate challenges during either a primary or general election. Â Regardless, the retirement announcements are not likely to let up anytime soon. At least three anti-gun incumbents also plan to leave office in 2010.
The Pennsylvania election calendar gives incumbents some time to delay their announcements into the new year. Nominating petitions (to run on a party primary ballot) are not due until early March. If more incumbents get nervous, expect to see more retirement announcements through the next few weeks.
In order to make sure the seats listed above stay in pro-gun hands, we’re going to need volunteers for campaigns in each of the districts. Please contact your local EVC to find out how you can contribute.
UPDATE: Word now comes that pro-gun Rep. Paul Clymer will run for re-election.
UPDATE II: And the retirements continue with Sen. Ray Musto and Rep. Will Gabig, two A rated voices in Harrisburg.
UPDATE III: Thanks to collective efforts in the political blogosphere, we believe we’ve rounded out the list as of the end of January. This list now includes Reps. Don Walko, Craig Dally, and Rich Grucela. All held A ratings from NRA.