Retirements, elections to impact House ag committee
by Jay Sjerven
WASHINGTON – Republicans maintained control of the US House of Representatives following Tuesday’s election. The elections will result in some changes to the membership of the House Committee on Agriculture when the 113th Congress convenes in January.
There are 45 members of the current House agriculture committee, 26 Republicans and 19 Democrats. Seven current members of the committee for certain will not be seated in the 113th Congress, three Republicans and four Democrats with an additional Democrat, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina (7th District) leading his Republican opponent David Rouzer by a margin so thin a recount was likely.
On the Republican side of the aisle, Timothy Johnson of Illinois in April announced he would retire. Johnson, who has served six terms in Congress representing the Illinois 15th District, would have been required to run in a newly created district (District 13) where he noted two-thirds of the voters had never been represented by him. Jean Schmidt of Ohio will retire as a result of losing the Republican Party primary to Brad Wenstrup. And Rep. Robert T. Schilling of Illinois was defeated by Democrat Cheri Bustos.
On the Democratic side of the aisle, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania was retiring after losing in the Democratic primary in the 17th District to Matt Cartwright. Democrat Leonard Boswell of Iowa (3rd District) was defeated in his bid for reelection by Republican Representative Tom Latham (4th District). The districts represented by Boswell and Latham were combined in a newly formed 3rd District. Redistricting also was a factor in the defeat of Joe Baca of California at the hands of Gloria Negrete McLeod, also a Democrat, in the newly established 35th District. And Larry Kissell of North Carolina was defeated by Republican Richard Hudson.
Republican members of the agriculture committee who won reelection included Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, the committee’s chairman, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, the committee’s vice-chairman, Steve King of Iowa, Randy Neugebauer of Texas, K. Michael Conaway of Texas, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, Thomas J. Rooney of Florida, Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, Bob Gibbs of Ohio, Austin Scott of Georgia, Scott R. Tipton of Colorado, Steve Southerland of Florida, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Martha Roby of Alabama, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Scott Des-Jarlais of Tennessee, Renee L. Ellmers of North Carolina, Christopher P. Gibson of New York, Randy Hultgren of Illinois, Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, Reid J. Ribble of Wisconsin, and Kristi Noem of South Dakota.
Democratic members of the committee winning reelection included Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the ranking member of the committee, David Scott of Georgia, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jim Costa of California, Timothy J. Walz of Minnesota, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Bill Owens of New York, Chellie Pingree of Maine, Joe Courtney of Connecticut, Peter Welch of Vermont, Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, Terri A. Sewell of Alabama, James McGovern of Massachusetts, and Gregorio Sablan of the North Marianas Islands.