• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Cantor Leaving Early

Via the Richmond Times-DispatchCantor to resign from Congress Aug. 18

Cantor said he has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the general election on Nov. 4.

By having a special election in November, the winner would take office immediately, rather than in January with the next Congress.

While I can understand why Cantor would be ready to move on, but this leaves his district unrepresented for several months, which strikes me as him shirking his responsibilities.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. John Peabody says:

    It’s less than 12 weeks. And it’s not as if Congress is going to be in session hardly at all until the election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. superdestroyer says:

    this happened in Maryland when Albert Wynn was voted out of office in the Democratic primary in March of 2008. If the quit earlier, they get to start lobbying earlier.

    As the U.S. becomes a one party state and the few relevant elections are in the Democratic primary, this will occur more often. Why hang around 6 months or more as a lame duck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  3. This is a slow period, I will allow. However, I am of the opinion that unless there are extenuating circumstances that one ought to serve out one’s term.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  4. (Further, one never knows what Congress might be called to do in a given expanse of time. Consider the aftermath of 9/11, for example, which was during that same “slow” period.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  5. Congress is only going to be in session 18 days in September, and will not be in session in October anyway. So, I’m not sure there’s that big of a loss for his district. Also, it is typically the case that the district staff stays on after a resignation until there is a new Congressman to deal with constituent service matters.

    The bigger deal, perhaps, is that whoever wins in November, most likely Dave Bratt, will be able to participate in the Lame Duck session that occurs at the end of the year. It hasn’t been announced yet, but it seems inevitable that there will be one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  6. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I agree entirely. To me, if you campaign for a position and the voters reward you with their votes, you are committing yourself to serve out your term. Anything less is pure selfishness. And I felt the same way both when Sarah Palin quit and when the newly re-elected Jane Harmon walked away from her congressional seat to take that Wilson Institute job.

    Elected office isn’t like a job at McDonald’s. It demands and deserves a commitment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  7. @Doug Mataconis: Not to make a huge deal of this, but how many days is too many for a district to lack representation? A lot can happen in 18 days (and, as I noted above, the unforeseen does sometimes occur).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  8. @Steven L. Taylor:

    I get your point, but I’m not sure its that big of a deal. Perhaps Cantor should have waited until the conclusion of the September session to resign, but then there would not have been enough time under Virginia law to schedule a Special Election I believe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    (Further, one never knows what Congress might be called to do in a given expanse of time. Consider the aftermath of 9/11, for example, which was during that same “slow” period.)

    Although you make a very good point, I believe it goes deeper than that.

    I think Cantor realized (actually he knows first hand) that nothing is going to get done in The House so he might as well leave early. When your mission is ‘my way or nothing gets done’ this is where and how it ends.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  10. @Doug Mataconis: Big deal? Perhaps not, although not a little deal (and I think this as a general matter when members of Congress are absent). But he still has a responsibility (which would include, in my opinion, serving in the lame duck session).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. @al-Ameda: Indeed–but that that is a deeper problem with Congress itself at the moment (and the majority party).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. superdestroyer says:

    The Gray administration in the District of Columbia started losing staff members the minute that Mayor Gray was defeated in his re-election during the Democratic primary.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/wp/2014/04/08/leaders-of-d-c-transportation-licensing-agencies-leave-gray-administration/

    Maybe the solution to having lame ducks would be to move the primaries much closer to the general election since in most elections, the primary is the real election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. mantis says:

    Gotta start cashing in as quickly as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Congress hasn’t done a dam thing in years. All this time he has been serving grifting in Congress and NOW he gets an attack of conscious?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  15. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: He has to wait a year after leaving Congress before he can start lobbying. This cuts six months off that waiting time. He can probably rake in a few million in those six months — why, it would be irresponsible not to quit!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  16. RWB says:

    Lighten up on him. He was offered a job he had to start immediately on the new Sarah Palin network.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  17. James Pearce says:

    While I can understand why Cantor would be ready to move on, but this leaves his district unrepresented for several months, which strikes me as him shirking his responsibilities.

    Sure, but Cantor has basically already been replaced. His main responsibility at this point is to step aside.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  18. @James Pearce: But won’t be replaced until January.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. DrDaveT says:

    this leaves his district unrepresented for several months

    You say this as if some districts are currently NOT unrepresented? You must be watching a different Congress…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  20. Midwestern Dad says:

    If you resign earlier and the new Congressman is elected and serves immediately; does the new Congressman. Have an advantage with seniority and benefit your state and district? I think this has occurred in the past.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  21. Anonne says:

    @Midwestern Dad:
    No. In fact, that’s part of the lunacy of letting him be defeated, strictly from a tactical standpoint for that particular district. Trading one loon for another, however, was bad policy regardless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Boyd says:

    @Timothy Watson: I don’t think that article says what you think it says.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. rudderpedals says:

    Anyone whose ever lost an election knows why he’s leaving: It cuts off the humiliation. It’s human and completely understandable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. Robin Cohen says:

    @mantis: Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. HelloWorld! says:

    Members cannot lobbie for 1year after their term ends. Leaving now allows him to lobbie 4 months sooner than if he stayed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Robin Cohen says:

    Little weasel always puts his own interests first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0