Florida GOP Rep. Bill Posey becomes the latest to announce his retirement from Congress ahead of the 2024 election

 April 28, 2024

Florida GOP Rep. Bill Posey announced Friday that he would be suspending his reelection bid and retire when his term ends this year, Just The News reported. Posey did not say what led to the decision as he added to the growing number of incumbents who are stepping down.

This announcement comes just after the filing deadline that would have opened the seat to a primary bid. Posey endorsed as his replacement Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

"I could remain in the job forever, and we were looking forward to another spirited campaign for a final term in office. However, earlier this week, circumstances beyond my control now require me to suspend my re-election campaign," the 76-year-old lawmaker said in a statement.

"Without going into a lot of personal details, stars aligned during the past week, and Mike decided he was ready for Congress. I enthusiastically endorse him and will do everything I can to help him get elected," Posey added.

Troubling Trend

Posey's departure is just another in a troubling trend of retirements even as House Speaker Mike Johnson struggles to hold onto a majority. According to a report in Axios, Posey serves on the House Freedom Caucus and House Financial Services and as a senior member of the Science, Space & Technology Committees.

Posey adds to the nearly two dozen GOP incumbent lawmakers who have announced they're leaving office. Although Posey's age or health may have impacted his decision, the others who have stepped down have no such concerns.

Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS) has announced he will not seek a third term despite the 36-year-old's reputation as an up-and-comer in the GOP. Similarly, 40-year-old China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher (R-WI)  has decided to leave Congress.

Even those longtime lawmakers who are powerful in the GOP have decided enough is enough. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced his departure after being ousted from leadership, NBC News reported.

"It is in this spirit that I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways. I know my work is only getting started." McCarthy said.

Speculation Abounds

Although each lawmaker who leaves offers his or her own explanation, many have been speculating as to why this is happening in droves. The most compelling theory is that it has to do with former President Donald Trump.

As outlined by Vox, the theory goes that these lawmakers are of the more traditional, old-guard type of Republicans who are calling it quits. Trump has arguably changed the relationship with voters for the better, but the paradigm shift has knocked the establishment structure off kilter.

Failed presidential candidate Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah blamed Trump's style for the rash of retirements. "Look, my wing of the party talks about policy and about issues that will make a difference to the lives of the American people," he said.

"The Trump wing of the party talks about resentments of various kinds and getting even and settling scores and revisiting the 2020 election," Romney claimed. In reality, Trump flushed out the RINOs like Romney, who are now angry at him for doing it.

The 2024 election cycle will be the true test of the strength of the Republican Party and its opposition to Democrats. Regardless of these departures beforehand, Trump could usher in a down-ballot red wave anyway.

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