Election '98: An Early Outlook

By Turpin, James | Corrections Today, December 1997 | Go to article overview

Election '98: An Early Outlook


Turpin, James, Corrections Today


Although election day for 1998 is almost a year away, the political maneuvering has already begun. With all 435 House seats up for grabs and partisan control held by only a few votes, the upcoming contests become critical. On the Senate side, there appears to be little chance of a change of partisan control although a number of races are of note. Thirty-seven states will be choosing governors.

The House

The turnover of House members appears to be the smallest in recent times. Only 14 members have indicated they will be leaving at the end of their current terms. This does not include four vacancies which have been filled over the past year. As of this writing, the following members already have announced their plans:

Retiring:

Sidney Yates (D-Ill.) (24 terms) Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) (17 terms) Harris Fawell (R-Ill.) (seven terms) Scott Klug (R-Wis.) (four terms) Elizabeth Furse (D-Ore.) (three terms) David Skaggs (D-Colo.) (six terms)

Running for Another Office:

Bob Ingilis (R-S.C.) (three terms) (Senate) Scotty Baesler (D-Ky.) (three terms) (Senate) Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) (six terms) (Senate) Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) (nine terms) (Senate) Linda Smith (R-Wash.) (two terms) (Senate) Glenn Poshard (D-Ill.) (five terms) (governor) Jon Christiansen (R-Neb.) (two terms) (governor) Barbara Kennelly (D-Conn.) (nine terms) (governor) Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) (two terms) (Senate) Michael Crapo (R. Id). (two terms) (Senate)

In addition, six seats have been vacated during 1997. These include:

Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) (became UN ambassador) Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) (resigned to pursue other career interests) Henry Gonzalez (D-Texas) (resigned for health reasons) Floyd Flake (D-N.Y.) (resigned to pursue other career interests) Tom Foglietta (D-Pa.) (became ambassador to Italy) Frank Tejada (D-Texas) (died while in office)

At least two of these members (Reps. Ingilis and Schumer) serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over most issues pertaining to criminal justice. The number of people not seeking re-election is substantially lower than it has been the last two years, although this number is likely to increase as we get closer to the 1998 elections, as more people will decide to seek office, retire or run for a higher office in the coming months. …

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