Politics

Here’s All the House Republicans That Voters Sent Home

Incumbent losses cut across all factions of the Republican Caucus but most are moderates

Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, pictured at Greenglade Elementary School polling place on Election Day in Kendale, Florida, is one of at least 19 House Republicans to have lost re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated on November 13 at 11:41 p.m. | Voters have sent 23 House Republican incumbents and counting home, as the predicted Democratic wave materialized in the lower chamber’s midterm contests. 

The losses cut across all factions of the Republican Conference but most of the incumbents going home after this term are moderate members. With the number of House Republicans shrinking next year, conservatives are poised to become a larger portion of the conference. 

Here’s all of the Republican incumbents voted out of office in the general election so far. They join four incumbents who lost their primary races: Republican Reps. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina and Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Democrats Joe Crowley of New York and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts. 

Rep. Mike Bishop

The sophomore lost his Michigan 8th District seat to Democrat Elissa Slotkin. Bishop, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, was active in the drafting of the Republican tax law. He is also a member of the Republican Study Committee.

Rep. Dave Brat

The House Freedom Caucus board member lost to former CIA agent Abigail Spanberger, who will be the first woman to represent Virginia’s 7th District. Brat, an economics professor who ousted former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary four years ago, was a deficit hawk who frequently voted against budget deals and appropriations bills for raising domestic spending. 

Rep. Rod Blum

Another House Freedom Caucus member loss came in Iowa’s 1st District, where Democrat Abby Finkenauer beat two-term incumbent Blum. Ironically, Blum was a big proponent of congressional term limits; he even co-chaired a bipartisan caucus dedicated to that cause along with Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is also being sent home after losing his Senate bid. 

Rep. Mike Coffman

A member of the centrist Republican Tuesday Group and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Coffman lost his re-election bid to Jason Crow in Colorado’s 6th District. The Iraq War veteran has spent his four terms focused on veterans and military issues. Coffman was also one of the few Republicans to sponsor the DREAM Act, Democrat-authored legislation to provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. He voted against House Republicans’ health care bill because he was concerned it wouldn’t ensure coverage for everyone with pre-existing conditions.  

Rep. Barbara Comstock

Another Tuesday Group loss came in Virginia’s 10th District, where two-term incumbent Comstock lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Comstock, the first woman to represent her district, was involved in House efforts to update congressional sexual harassment procedures. She authored legislation to establish grants for combating gang activity that was signed into law this year. Comstock also voted against House Republicans’ health care bill.

Rep. John Culberson 

An appropriations cardinal and nine-term incumbent lost his Texas 7th District seat to Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. Culberson chaired the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. He was a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Curbelo, a member of the centrist Republican Tuesday Group and bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, lost to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in Florida’s 26th District. The two-term incumbent co-chaired the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus (several other Republican members of the caucus lost their races too) and was a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Earlier this year Curbelo led a discharge petition effort against Republican leadership’s wishes to force a series floor votes on a series of immigration bills in an effort to secure a permanent legal status for Dreamers. The petition was a few signatures short but Curbelo helped craft Republican compromise legislation that failed on the House floor. 

 

Rep. Jeff Denham

Denham, the other leader of the immigration discharge petition is also headed home. California's 10th District elected Democrat Josh Harder over the third-term incumbent. Denham had planned to run for the top Republican position on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee had he won his race. He also served on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees and was a member of the Tuesday Group.

Rep. Dan Donovan 

Donovan, a Tuesday Group member, tacked to the right to win his primary against former Rep. Michael Grimm earlier this year. That may have contributed to his general election loss to Democrat Max Rose in New York’s 11th District. Donovan, a sophomore, voted against the Republican tax overhaul because he opposed the culling of the state and local tax deduction and against the GOP’s health care bill.

Rep. John Faso

Faso is another Tuesday Group member who voted against the tax bill over the SALT issue. The Problem Solvers Caucus member lost to Democrat Antonio Delgado in New York’s 19th District. Faso was among the Republicans who signed a discharge petition to force floor votes on a series of immigration bills to protect Dreamers. 

Rep. Karen Handel

Handel's loss to Democrat Lucy McBath means she'll go home without having served a full term as Georgia's 6th District representative. Handel won her seat in a June 2017 special election to replace Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to briefly serve as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. She served on the Judiciary and Education and the Workforce Committees and was a member of the Republican Study Committee. 

Rep. Randy Hultgren 

The Republican Study Committee member lost to Democrat Lauren Underwood in Illinois’s 14th District. Hultgren served on the Financial Services and Science, Space & Technology Committees. He also co-chaired the Congressional Prayer Caucus. 

Rep. Steve Knight

The sophomore lost to Democrat Katie Hill  in California's 25th District. Knight, an Army veteran, served on the Armed Services, Small Business and Science, Space, & Technology Committees. On Small Business he chaired the Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee. 

Rep. Leonard Lance

The Tuesday Group and Problem Solvers Caucus member lost to Democrat Tom Malinowski in New Jersey’s 7th District. Lance served on the high-profile Energy and Commerce Committee but opposed the Republican health care bill, saying he preferred to improve the 2010 law rather than repeal and replace it.  He also voted opposed the GOP tax bill over the SALT issue. 

Rep. Jason Lewis

Lewis, who is not associated with any of the major GOP caucuses, lost to his failed 2016 challenger, Democrat Angie Craig in Minnesota’s 2nd District. The freshman served on the Budget, Education & the Workforce and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

Rep. Erik Paulsen

The senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee lost to Democrat Dean Phillips in Minnesota’s 3rd District. Paulsen was the House’s lead proponent for repealing the medical device tax, an important industry in his state. The five-term incumbent is the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the Tuesday Group and the Republican Study Committee. 

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

The three-term incumbent lost California's 48th District to Democrat Harley Rouda. Rohrabacher is a senior member of the Foreign Affairs and Science, Space, and Technology Committees. He had hoped to run for the top Republican spot on the latter had be been re-elected. Rohrabacher is known in Congress for his pro-Russia views. 

Rep. Peter Roskam

Another senior Ways and Means member lost in Illinois’s 6th District. Democrat Sean Casten beat Roskam, who was a lead architect of the Republican tax law as chairman of the Tax Policy Subcommittee. The six-term incumbent currently chairs the Health Subcommittee on Ways and Means and previously chaired the panel’s Oversight Subcommittee. Roskam served as chief deputy whip in the 112th and 114th Congresses, appointed by then Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. When McCarthy moved up to Majority Leader, Roskam lost the race for the whip job to Steve Scalise

Rep. Keith Rothfus

The Republican Study Committee member faced tougher odds this cycle after Pennsylvania’s late redrawn boundaries put him a more Democratic district. The third-term congressman ultimately lost to Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania’s 17th District. Rothfus served on the Financial Services and Judiciary Committees. 

Rep. Steve Russell

The biggest Republican upset of the night came in Oklahoma’s 5th District, where two-term incumbent Russell lost to Democrat Kendra Horn. Russell had planned to run for the top Republican slot on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; his loss creates uncertainty over who will fill that position as no other candidates had declared interest in the post being vacated by retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Rep. Pete Sessions

Session’s loss is notable because he is a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman who knows how to raise money and campaign. The Rules Committee chairman was a leadership ally and generally reliable vote on major pieces of Republican-crafted legislation. He was a member of the Republican Study Committee.

Rep. Scott Taylor

The former Navy SEAL lost his Virginia 2nd District seat to Democrat and retired Navy commander Elaine Luria. Taylor is freshman appropriator and member of the Republican Study Committee. 

Rep. Kevin Yoder

Another appropriations cardinal lost in Kansas’s 3rd District. Yoder, chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee was defeated by Democrat Sharice Davids, who will be one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. He was a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Republican Study Committee.

Rep. David Young

The sophomore appropriator lost his Iowa 3rd District seat to Democrat Cindy Axne. He focused much of his legislative efforts on agricultural issues important to his rural district. 

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