|Happy New Year! As is the case every two years, 2022 is an election year for much of Congress. All 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 1/3 of the U.S. Senate are up for reelection in November. Add state and local elections to that and literally thousands of elections will take place this year.
What’s been interesting about this year’s congressional races is the number of lawmakers who are retiring, and not seeking reelection. While every year has a handful of retirements, 2022 might set a record! As of this week, 37 Representatives (26 Democrats and 11 Republicans) as well as 6 Senators (1 Democrat and 5 Republicans) have announced they will be stepping down at the end of the year.
The reasons for retirements vary, some are seeking higher office, others are fed up with Washington D.C. and others are simply avoiding potential election defeat. Regardless of the reason for these departures, it’s surprising that nearly 10% of lawmakers are headed for the exits.
There are two important things you as a Motorcycle Riders Foundation member should take away from these retirements. First, if your elected official is retiring, have they been supportive of MRF priorities in the past? In the final months of their time in D.C., many congressional offices will change their tune on issues and be more supportive of topics they avoided in the past. It doesn’t hurt to reach out again, and push for MRF priorities before the lawmakers are gone for good. Ask the MRF D.C. team if we can help!
Second, with so many vacancies around the country, it’s a great time to get to know new candidates. Getting in on the ground floor and building relationships early in the process is one of the best ways to impact change and support your fellow bikers. In 2020, bikers in Michigan developed an early relationship with a candidate for office months before the election. That candidate won and became a U.S. Representative! She still fondly remembers the support she received early on from riders in her district. So get involved early and introduce yourself to the new crop of leaders headed to D.C.
Below is the current list of lawmakers departing their current positions. This list will grow in the coming months, keep your eyes and ears opened and stay up to date on who represents you in D.C. Reach out to the MRF D.C. team if you have any questions about the changing make up of Congress.