GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio to Retire

It's the second GOP retirement announced in as many days.

GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio to Retire
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) calls on the Senate pass the budget that cleared the House last April during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Oct. 4, 2011. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Joseph Lord

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) will not seek reelection in 2022, the second Republican in the past two days to announce such an intention.

In his April 6 announcement, Gibbs cited redistricting in his home state as propelling his decision not to run again.

While Gibbs said he was "confident in the future of our nation," he said that redistricting in his state had turned into a "circus."

In Ohio—which has in recent years become more and more reliably Republican, but still remains an important battleground state—Democrats and Republicans have squabbled relentlessly in and out of court over how to redraw Ohio's congressional districts in alignment with the 2020 census.

"These long, drawn-out processes, in which the Ohio Supreme Court can take weeks and months to deliberate while demanding responses and filings from litigants within days, is detrimental to the state and does not serve the people of Ohio," Gibbs explained.

"It is irresponsible to effectively confirm the congressional map for this election cycle seven days before voting begins, especially in the Seventh Congressional District where almost 90 percent of the electorate is new and nearly two thirds is an area primarily from another district, foreign to any expectations or connection to the current Seventh District."

"This circus," Gibbs added, "has provided me the opportunity to assess my future."

On Tuesday, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), one of only ten House Republicans to vote for Trump's impeachment, announced that he would not seek reelection, becoming the fourth Republican retiree who voted to impeach Trump.

Like Gibbs, Upton tied his retirement decision to concerns over redistricting, as he was facing a tough head-to-head battle with another Republican.

In an April 6 statement, President Donald Trump, who the day before had celebrated Upton's decision to retire, applauded Gibbs' time in Congress, saying he had enjoyed "a wonderful and accomplished career."

"His retirement, after serving in Congress for more than a decade, should be celebrated by all," Trump wrote. "He was a strong ally to me and MAGA, voting to support my America First agenda and fighting strongly against the Radical Left. Thank you for your service, Bob—a job well done!"

Since the 117th Congress began, 17 Republicans have announced their intention to retire, many of whom were and remain adversaries to Trump's platform.

But Democrats have far outpaced Republicans in retirements. At the time of publication, 31 Democrats—including prominent figures like House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), the only Kentucky Democrat in Congress—have announced their decisions to retire.

Republican strategists see the mass exodus of Democrats as a sign of good things to come in a race that is already expected to be heavily in Republicans' favor.

Democrats have rejected this interpretation, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying in several interviews that she expects Democrats to hold onto the House despite their paper-thin majority.

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