House budget chairman Yarmuth rejects another term of US House of Representatives in Kentucky | Kentucky
(The Center Square) – US MP John Yarmuth, Kentucky’s only Democratic legislature on Capitol Hill, announced Tuesday that he would not run again next year.
The three-minute video statement posted on Twitter stunned many, both in his Louisville district and nationally, when the House budget chairman and architect of the American Rescue Plan Act became the first chairman to stand down in 2022.
While he said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family after leaving Washington, Yarmuth added that he intends to end the term in strong ways.
“There is much more we can do for the American people, and since this progress will unfortunately not be bipartisan, my chairmanship of the House Budgets Committee places me in a vital position to enable our citizens to have an even better future. ” he said.
The Democrats currently hold a slim majority of 220-212 over the Republicans in the House of Representatives. However, at least five incumbent Democrats have announced their decision not to run next year.
Because of this, some see the announcement of Yarmuth’s resignation as a sign that Democrats will face major challenges in maintaining a majority in next year’s midterm elections.
“Chairman Yarmuth’s announcement shows that Democrats are realizing their chances of maintaining control of the US House of Representatives are slim to none,” Kentucky Republican Party leader Mac Brown said in a statement. “We look forward to doing our part to retire Nancy Pelosi as spokesperson in 2022.”
Yarmuth faced a major challenger in Rep. Attica Scott, Louisville, USA the following spring. But less than 10 minutes after Yarmuth posted the video on his Congress Twitter page, Kentucky Senate chairman Morgan McGarvey, Louisville, announced his offer to replace the eight-year-old congressman on his Twitter account.
Both candidates represent important democratic strongholds in the city. Scott, a former member of the Metro Council, represents part of the West End of Louisville. She has also been active on social justice issues for years, including the Breonna Taylor case.
McGarvey’s borough includes the Highlands, a heavily liberal area of the city. He was also unchallenged in two of his three races for the State Senate.
Another potential candidate is Aaron Yarmuth, the Congressman’s son. The younger Yarmuth told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he was considering the race because he was concerned about a GOP takeover next year.
National implications aside, his departure could make waves in Kentucky’s largest city as well. Yarmuth is very popular in Louisville, having topped 62% in each of his races since 2012, but now the Democrats there will be looking to replace him and three-year-old Mayor Greg Fischer, who is on hiring for the next year.
Robert Kahne, a co-host of My Old Kentucky Podcast, which focuses on Bluegrass State politics and also tracks Kentucky political data, told The Center Square Tuesday that it would be interesting to see how these races play out develop new candidates, especially in a changing political climate.
“I think you can see that in both races Louisville will have an opportunity to make choices about which direction to go,” he said. “If you want, maybe a younger but similar version of what you had before, or if you want to go in a completely different direction. Or maybe just change a bit. There are many different ways it could be done. “
The race in Congress will also depend on whether state lawmakers can approve new cards for next year’s elections based on the 2020 census. Senate majority leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, told The Center Square that the legislature hopes to get this done in time for next year’s general election. Still, he added that it was too early to determine what these districts will look like.
If lawmakers can’t make timely changes, or if most of Louisville stays in the same district, Kahne said that should bode well for the Democrats. Kahne, who also sits on the executive committee of the Kentucky Democratic Party but said he was only speaking his own opinion, noted that Democrats have won seats on the Louisville Metro Council and in the city’s legislative districts in recent years.
“Just like the rural areas that used to vote Democratic with large members now vote Republicans, so Democrats in the suburbs within the Louisville city limits in Jefferson County have really, really voted Democratic,” he said.
Yarmuth, who turns 74 on November 4th, is from Louisville and started out as a Republican in politics more than 50 years ago. He worked on a US Senate campaign for Marlow Cook in 1968 and served as an advisor to him during the moderate Republican’s only tenure.
In 1981 he ran unsuccessfully for the seat of commissioner at the Jefferson County Fiscal Court – then the county’s main legislative body.
In the 1980s, Yarmuth switched parties, telling The Courier-Journal earlier that year that the Reagan administration and its policies played a large role in that decision. He then founded the Louisville Eccentric Observer, a weekly newspaper.