Katko faces increasing pressure to retire as fellow GOP representatives jump ship
House Republicans are facing a retirement “tsunami” as top members of their caucus – from NRCC Recruitment Chair Rep. Susan Brooks to Rep. Pete Olson– have shocked their colleagues by deciding against running for re-election.
And now signs are pointing that Congressman John Katko – one of only two GOP representatives running for re-election in a seat lost by Donald Trump – may be next.
John Katko was added to the NRCC’s “Patriot Program,” a list of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House, earlier this year. Olson and Rep. Will Hurd, who announced his retirement days ago, are also on that list. Katko’s inclusion on that list of vulnerable Republicans is just another sign that he may be on his way out.
More possible retirees include the two other Republicans holding onto seats Clinton won in 2016 —New York Rep. John Katko and Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. In fact, Fitzpatrick, who also voted to condemn Trump’s tweets, already has a prospective primary challenger lining up to take him on for being insufficiently pro-Trump. There’s also the fact that the last time a party flipped the House in a presidential cycle was in 1952. With that history in mind, as well as the misery of minority status in a hyper-partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill, don’t be shocked if more Republicans decide to exit stage right.
“With his fellow vulnerable Republicans waving their white flags of defeat with a brutal re-election campaign coming up, Congressman Katko knows his chances of holding onto this seat are becoming less likely with each passing day,” said DCCC spokesperson Christine Bennett. “John Katko knows November 2020 won’t be pretty.”