UPDATED 3:00 PM PT – Tuesday, September 28, 2021
34 Senate seats have been up for election in the November 2022 midterms. Only four incumbents have not confirmed if they planned to run or not.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) has been serving in the Senate since his first election in 1974. In his eighth term, Leahy was the first ever Democrat to win a Senate seat from Vermont as he won in the Democrat wave after Watergate and President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Leahy is the most senior member of the Senate currently sitting. If he was to be reelected and served a full ninth term, he would overtake West Virginia Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd as the longest serving senator in history.
With the heavy weight of history behind him, the 81-year-old has yet to say if he planned run or not and wouldn’t do so until within a year of the election.
Reporter: “Have you even made a decision if you’ll even be a candidate?
Leahy: “You know, I always make those decisions never more than a year before the election.”
The number two Republican in the Senate, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), has served in the Senate since the 2004 election. His first election saw him take down Democrat Minority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.) in one of the year’s closest Senate races.
A heavyweight himself, Thune has been standing in line behind the current Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). While Thune has not officially confirmed if he would run, as he faced a long shot primary challenge from his right, he has been out fundraising and was likely to run to for the seat.
“If you’re gonna run a campaign, you’ve got to raise money. You’ve got to get out and about,” he explained. “You’ve got to keep a sort of, you know, busy schedule. We’re doing that, but the best thing in my view is to just to keep doing the work.”
In Wisconsin, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson was first elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 to oppose Obamacare. A late entrant into his first race, the senator has remained notoriously aloof in his campaign decisions until late in the game.
Johnson has not confirmed if he would retire, although he has recently hinted he may not go for a third term.
“I want to make sure that this U.S. Senate seat is retained in Republican hands,” he stated. “I mean, you see what the media’s doing to me. I may not be the best candidate. So, I mean, I wouldn’t run if I don’t think I could win, if I didn’t think I was the best person to be able to win.”
In Alaska, anti-Trump Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has served since being appointed by her father, the governor of the state, to replace him in the body. She was elected in her own right just two years later
Murkowski was primaried from her right in 2010, but ran a successful write in campaign to squeak by and hold onto to her seat. Reminiscent of then, the senator has already been faced with a primary challenger backed by the state GOP branch for 2022.
“What I’m doing right now, I haven’t made any announcement,” she expressed. “…I’m not going to make an announcement today, so sorry to disappoint, but what I’m doing is basically what Alaskans asked me to do.”
If Murkowski did decide to run for reelection, polls have shown her squeaking by once again due to Alaska’s new ranked choice voting system.
“She’s the best friend Washington Democrats ever had—and Alaska’s reward for that betrayal is an empowered Left coming after their wealth and jobs. I think she will be met very harshly by the Alaska voters in 15 months…”
FULL STATEMENT: pic.twitter.com/F9NsdxOk4X
— Natalie Harp (@NatalieJHarp) June 7, 2021