Exiting class of 2011 and conservative gains within the House GOP caucus

With all the new GOP blood headed to Capitol Hill, there’s much less attention paid to the Republicans who are currently cleaning out their desks. Some will be moving across the Capitol to the Senate, others back to their state capitols, and still others to retirement.

Here is the exiting Republican class of 2011:

  • Parker Griffith, R-Ala. (Defeated in primary)
  • John Shadegg, R-Ariz. (Retired)
  • John Boozman, R-Ark. (Senator-elect from Arkansas)
  • George Radanovich, R-Calif. (Retired)
  • Todd Tihart, R-Kan. (Ran for Senate, lost primary)
  • Jerry Moran, R-Kan. (Senator-elect from Kansas)
  • Mike Castle, R-Del. (Ran for Senate, lost primary)
  • Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla. (Retired)
  • Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. (Retired)
  • Adam Putnam, R-Fla. (Elected Agriculture Commissioner of Florida)
  • John Linder, R-Ga. (Retired)
  • Charles Djou, R-Hawaii (Defeated)
  • Steve Buyer, R-Ind. (Retired)
  • Mark Souder, R-Ind. (Resigned)
  • Mark Kirk, R-Ill. (Senator-elect from Illinois)
  • Joseph Cao, R-La. (Defeated)
  • Vern Ehlers, R-Mich. (Retired)
  • Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich. (Ran for governor, lost primary)
  • Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (Senator-elect from Missouri)
  • Mary Fallin, R-Okla. (Gov.-elect of Oklahoma)
  • Henry Brown, R-S.C. (Retired)
  • Bob Inglis, R-S.C. (Defeated in primary)
  • Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. (Ran for governor, lost primary)

It is impossible to predict for certain what their replacements will look like, but what I have read about all of the candidates, there does not appear to any case in which an open Republican seat is being taken over by a significantly more liberal Republican. The seats of Cao, Djou, and Castle were the only GOP seats taken over by Democrats.

On the other hand, in the cases of Brown-Waite, Ehlers, Diaz-Balart, Griffith and Inglis, at least slightly more conservative (and in some cases much more conservative) members will be replacing them.

Add to those 20 Republican replacements the more than 60 new Republicans who defeated Democrats or took over formerly Democratic seats, and you have the 80-plus member freshman GOP class.

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