It’s a rough week for veteran politicians. Earlier this week US Representative David Obey (D-WI) announced his retirement after 41 years in Congress. On Saturday, Republicans thew out US Senator Bob Bennett after 18 years.
For Congressman Obey it was a Republican up start Sean Duffy that was giving the congressman a run for his money From the AP via Yahoo News:
Rep. David Obey, a leading liberal Democrat and chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, said Wednesday that he will retire at the end of his term this year, dealing Democrats defending their majority another blow in an election season of voter discontent.
“There is a time to stay and a time to go,” the Wisconsin lawmaker told reporters. “And this is my time to go.”
Obey won the first of 21 terms in 1969 — when a special election was held after President Richard Nixon tapped Melvin Laird to be his defense secretary. He faced a potentially bruising re-election campaign this fall, and his retirement is likely to make it easier for Republicans to pick up his seat.
Obey is one of many Democrats in either the House or Senate who are in difficult election races:
Obey, 71, among a handful of veteran House Democrats who had been bracing for competitive races this fall, has routinely won re-election. In 2008 he did so with 61 percent of the vote. But voters this year are souring on Washington.
“I believe the job of a good politician was to be used up fighting on behalf of causes you believed in, and when you are used up, to step aside and let someone else carry on the battle. Well, today I feel used up,” he said.
Duffy who is the DA in Ashland County,WI:
Sean Duffy, 38, a Republican district attorney, is seen as the favored candidate in the GOP primary, and his candidacy has attracted the backing of Republicans in Washington as well as the party’s 2008 vice president nominee, Sarah Palin, and tea party activists.
Colleagues of Obey praise the congressman hard work and dependability for the poor and working class:
As chairman of Appropriations, Obey has been an ardent defender of domestic programs such as education and community health centers, as well as less popular causes such as foreign aid.
“For more than 40 years, Chairman Dave Obey has been a tireless voice for progress on behalf of his constituents in Wisconsin and middle-class families across America,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the House committee trying to get Democrats elected.
On the Republican side Sen. Bob Bennett attended the Utah State Convention in Salt Lake on Saturday. Bennett was hoping to be re-elected to the Senate by winning the convention vote and eventual primary. Bennett won the first round balloting. However, in the second round he lost to new comers:
Senator Bob Bennett was ousted by delegates to the Republican state convention today.
It is the first time in 70 years a sitting United States Senator has been rejected by a state party convention.
Republicans Time Bridgewater and Mike Lee each got more delegate votes than Bennett. They will face each other in a primary.
Bennett served Utah since in 1992. After the vote the senator talked to the media and thank his supporters:
“The political atmosphere obviously has been toxic, and it’s very clear that some of the votes that I have cast have added to the toxic environment,” Bennett told reporters, choking back tears.
“Looking back on them, with one or two very minor exceptions, I wouldn’t have cast any of them any differently, even if I had known at the time they were going to cost me my career.”
Bridgewater and Lee are heading for a primary showdown June 22.
“The focus is always going to be on constitutionally-limited government,” Lee said. “That’s what my campaign has been focused on when I announced on Jan. 5.”
Bridgewater says the race will be a tough one, but he hopes to come out on top.
“I’m a businessman, he’s an attorney. We have different perspectives on how to solve problems in Washington and I hope voters will respond to my campaign and my message,” he said.
Special Thanks to Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit