Democratic majority continues shrinking in U.S. House

But Democrats favored in several upcoming special elections

With Wednesday’s swearing-in of a Republican congresswoman from Louisiana, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority is now down to six.

U.S. Rep. Julia Letlow filled the seat that was originally won by her husband, Luke Letlow, who died Dec. 29 at the age of 41, only weeks after winning a runoff election for the congressional seat and days before he was scheduled to be sworn into office.

Democrats now have 218 votes in the House, compared with Republicans’ 212.

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Julia Letlow has pledged to continue her late husband’s vision for Louisiana’s 5th District, which covers all or part of 24 parishes, including the cities of Alexandria and Monroe.

However, Democrats, according to Fox News, are favored in several upcoming House special elections over the next two months.

A special runoff election in Louisiana’s 2nd District is scheduled April 24, with two candidates who are both Democrats. The race is for the seat of former Rep. Cedric Richmond, who joined President Joe Biden’s administration as senior adviser and director of the Office of Public Liaison.

On May 1, a special election in Texas’ 6th District will fill the seat of GOP Rep. Ronald Wright, who died of COVID-19 complications. That district leans Republican.

On June 1, a special election in New Mexico’s Democratic-leaning 1st District will fill the seat of former Democratic Rep. Debra Haaland, who is now Biden’s interior secretary.

Another special election in a Democratic district — Ohio’s 11th — won’t be held until Nov. 2 to replace former Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, who is now Housing and Urban Development secretary.

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas said Wednesday he won’t run for reelection after 25 years in Congress, making him the most senior House Republican to announce he won’t be back in 2022.

Brady was chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Committee in 2017, when Donald Trump signed a $1.5 billion tax overhaul. He acknowledged that being term-limited out of that leadership role if the GOP regains control of the House in next year’s midterm elections had some bearing on his decision.

He said Trump wasn’t a factor.

“Given the times, I’m sure some will say ‘It’s Trump’s fault.’ Nonsense,” said Brady, who made the announcement at a local meeting of business leaders in his suburban Houston district.

Brady’s district has been reliably safe for Republicans for years.

At least three other Republicans are planning to make this term their last in the House, including Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, who is running for U.S. Senate.

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