Skip to comments.Utah Democrat Rep. Matheson won’t seek 8th term
Posted on 12/17/2013 11:16:25 PM PST by Olog-hai
U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, Utahs only Democrat in Congress, announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election, easing the way for Republicans to pick up another House seat in a solidly red state.
Matheson was expected to face a tough repeat challenge in 2014 from Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, a Republican he narrowly defeated in 2012.
While Utah Democrats admitted Mathesons decision not to run for an eighth term is a blow, theyre hoping it will set him up to challenge U.S. Sen. Mike Lee or Gov. Gary Herbert, both Republicans who are up for re-election in 2016.
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He has a good shot at beating either Lee or the Governor..he’s clearly running for something in 2016, on the other hand Love has a real good shot at winning his seat in the house.
This is news. He does have a voting record and it is better than many so called conservative Republicans. But he is no Mike Lee.
Obviously not so much of a Conservative Record. Gets out while the getting is good... He is a Democrat and this is going to be a Republican election so yeah...get out!
He is a DEMOCRAT!
Rats jumping from the sinking ship.
I hope to see a lot more rats jumping off.
This practically hands this seat to Mia Love, black, female Republican. Dem’s poured outside money to keep Mia out in 2012 (she lost by about 500 votes), but Matheson probably saw the writing on the wall for 2014, and figured he would avoid tarnishing his name with a loss. Matheson remains electable when the winds are blowing his way - but that might not be the case in 2016 either (after 8 years of Obama stinking up the Dem brand).
Matheson was not scared out of the race..he is looking at the Senate. Remember he was reelected last time in the state giving Romney the highest margin of victory.
He looks at Hilary running in 2016 and sees an excellent chance of being the next senator.
This was not good news for Conservatives, a RINO will take Mathesons seat and a Dim will get Lee's seat in 2016...
How does quitting, giving up a seat to the GOP, and sitting on the sidelines for four years help Matheson? I actually live in this district - Mia seems like a fine candidate. Mike Lee is an excellent speaker and is earning kudos for standing up to Oamacare - he will be ok in 2016.
He did not quit, he will be in office until the expiration of his term in 2015. So he will be in good shape to run for Lee's seat in 2016.
Notice Lee's approval numbers? especially among the GOP in the state as a whole, they stink. The Utah establishment wants Lee out and if Leavitt or some big name establishment candidate cant take Lee out in the primary they will support Matheson in big enough numbers for him to win IMO. The Matheson name is political gold in Utah as you undoubtedly know. He's probably the only Dim that can win a statewide race there.
Mia is not a Conservative, one of Hatch’s to adviser's recently joined her campaign. If you like Hatch you will like Mia but she is not a conservative. I'm not saying this is bad news if you are an establishment Utah Republican but if you are a conservative it increases the chance that Lee will lose exponentially
I think you overstate the power of the Matheson name. Jim is bailing because he knows he won’t win again in 2014 (and he’s never won by overwhelming margins from the get-go). His brother Scott ran for Governor in 2004 and only got 41%. The late Bill Orton performed better in 2000.
If the GOP has the majority in the Senate going into 2016, I’d have to wonder why Jim Matheson would want to run (even with a divided GOP primary), as that will be a terrible year for a Dem to run in. I also find in dubious that Lee would lose under their convention system, given that Conservatives tend to dominate them. We shall see how things unfold...
He is not bringing home the bacon...
They want somebody like Hatch, and Matheson is a lot closer to Hatch than Lee in their view..
We’re bankrupt. Lee knows that. So should those businessmen.
Look at SLC they are just completing a quarter billion dollar Federal Courthouse thanks to Hatch. The NSA complex was a few billion in construction and another large federal payroll.
Lee is on the losing end of the economic argument in Utah and he most likely will be defeated either by a well known establishment type like Leavitt in the caucuses or Matheson in the general.
This is why the Republican Establishment is just as dangerous and as worthless as the Democrats. The day of reckoning is coming soon.
The fact that he is a democrat is a huge issue in that his voting record is more conservative than many Republicans. If he elects to run for the Senate he has the potential to beat Mike Lee. He won a close race against conservative Republican Mia Love.
LMAO, if this jerk was gonna run for the Senate he wouldn’t be fleeing his House seat in fear.
Pure bull. Not a single current House Republican is to this piece of crap liberal's left, let alone "many so called conservatives".
If we have to be concerned about losing a Senate seat in Utah to a Democrat, then we are done.
Who did he vote for to be Speaker in the House?
Lee is to conservative for the Utah GOP.
Club for Growth, and some UT newspapers. Yea I know.
As far as I’m concerned that happened in the last election when Orin Hatch was reelected beating a strong conservative by last minute town hall type meetings trying to save his seat from more Mike Lee conservatives. It was an apology tour that unfortunately won the day.
Amen and Bingo. You have UT described to a T.
I have no idea and don’t think it very relative to the issue at hand.
Lots of active Democrats in UT. and the Salt Lake Tribune is their media friend.
...and if you don’t believe my other post here is another opinion.
The Hatch Effect: As Erick Erickson noted a few months ago, Orrin Hatch started a new trend among the ruling class members. Recognizing the mistake of moderates like Bob Bennett and Dick Lugar, Hatch ran all the way to the right when he began to sense a credible primary threat. Last year, he voted 100% with Mike Lee. This year he has voted for amnesty, ENDA, funding Obamacare, debt ceiling increases, the Biden-McConnell tax increases, and many of Obamas liberal judges and executive appointees.
The problem is that if Matheson were a Republican with the same voting record, he’d still be a liberal (60% lifetime liberal rating from the ACU). Not an outright moonbat, but still on the left. If your sources are telling you that Matheson is a “Conservative” and moreso than “Conservative Republicans”, that source is simply lying.
So whatever his conservative votes, he still was willing to put in a left wing Speaker of the House who would control the agenda of the House.
Lets not forget the real reason that McCain and Hatch were reelected, the ‘darling’ of Freerepublic, Palin, endorsed both.
The problem is that if Matheson were a Republican with the same voting record, hed still be a liberal (60% lifetime liberal rating from the ACU).
Take it up with Club for Growth. I never claimed he was conservative only that he was rated higher than those who considered themselves conservative and we know who is and who isn’t.
I don’t believe she had anything to do with it. Only the minds of low info voters allowed it to happen. But maybe I’m only projecting my own situation. I’d rather vote on my own research and views than taking someones word.
...and further research has the Heritage Action Scorecard listing him somewhat lower than Club for Growth. He is still a force from the left in UT and probably garnering quite a few Republican’s in his corner.
But who are these people he was rated higher than ? That’s what I’d like to know.
If he’s garnering all these “Republicans”, why is he fleeing from running for another term ? Methinks he knows he will lose. As I said, the Matheson name is not nearly the force some believe it is (if it was, his brother would’ve been easily elected Governor).
Well, knock thiyself out.
Matheson is 141 out of 435 my own Congress person somewhat lower and considered conservative although the voting record doesn’t quite support the title.
So, either the House isn’t near as conservative as anyone might think since you can’t even go down 150 out of 435 and still find a conservative, or the definition of conservative is screwed up, or any test of voting record for conservative is screwed up, or no one past the top ten meet the test, or all four.
Thanks for the link...
Obviously, Club for Growth must have different standards and priorities for ranking “Conservative.” Some of this looks like a Paulite standard. Any group that would give Justin Amash #1 is going to be questionable. I don’t trust Amash, and his going to bat for the Iranian President against a joke made by McCain was outright bizarre.
I know for a fact that Scott DesJarlais (ranked 107th), despite his personal problems of the past, is the most Conservative member from my state of TN, yet this list has Stephen Fincher, who is establishment-leaning and takes gov’t subsidies despite being quite wealthy, as the “best” from TN. Cassidy of LA, the leading challenger to Landrieu, is a RINO to the point that I’ve accused him of being a ringer for her next year, yet he ranks at 77.
Allen West at 106th place, below RINO Pete Sessions of TX ?
Matheson jumped from 42% to 68% for an election year by their reckoning (which again contradicts the ACU, which says he is still in the low 40s). That simply doesn’t pass the smell test, either. Many of the Dems appear to have “doubled” their scores from the prior year, but there certainly has been no movement from the caucus in reality to be headed in the right direction (if anything, the GOP moving left — and your hypothesis that Congress isn’t nearly as Conservative as some think is actually correct).
In any event, we’re probably better off getting an amalgamation of the scores from different groups to rank individuals (and I’d even take into account public statements beyond just their voting records). Even the ACU gets a bit odd with its ratings from year to year.
Thanks for the reply and amen to all. The amalgamation list would be most interesting to say the least.
One thing else I might as well throw in is that it’s impossible really to rank a single individual at 100% “in the right”, since most of us here cannot agree on precisely what that would be.
Take an issue like the War on Drugs, which some FReepers disagree on. Those in favor of legalization would be ranked as A+ by the one side and F by the opposition (and vice-versa). Although that’s not as big an issue as immigration and gay marriage now. I would personally view a politician not voting in favor of strict controls on one (or at least vigorous enforcement of existing laws) on immigration and not diligently opposing the bizarre redefinition of marriage (which is a war against the very foundation of family and our religious institutions) as being anti-Conservative.
Same goes for those not voting against an out-of-control administration on spending. The recent budget, as an example, which gets an “F” from me, 7 out of the 9 members from my state of TN (2 Dems, 5 GOP) voted for the abomination and the other 2 Republicans (DesJarlais and Duncan) voted against, yet another reason I place DesJarlais as the most Conservative (he is loathed by the GOP establishment). Duncan tends to lean towards the Paleo position on issues, which has its own set of standards on Conservatism, which I don’t entirely agree with.
Heh, am a Tea Party member and am wondering just why everyone is up in arms? Just what did I say that was so un-Republican (although I almost despise Republicans as much as Democrats - as they always pursue money interests over constituents...same as Democrats! Only the blind will notice the difference. I have become a Libertarian lately and really wish the Republicans well as the Democrats have taken control of things lately!
I’ve been saying for a decade now that a combination of several vote ratings would be better than anu one rating. I prefer to average the “conservative score” for 6 ratings that appear in Barone’s Almanac. Three of the ratings sre by conservative groups (ACU, Club for Growth andFamily Research Council), and the other three are from liberal groups (ADA, AFSCME and League of Conservation Voters),, so I first subtract the liberal score from 100 to get a conservative score (e.g., an ADA score of 68% is equivalent to a conservative score of 32).
I’ve been a fan of the Club for Growth but if they’re “pro-growth scorecard” for 2012 ranks Matheston as more “pro-growth” than conservative Republicans such as John Shimkus and Erik Paulson I have to question their criteria for that year.
And I know we like to hate people like Eric Cantor (also rated below Matheson for 2012) Matheson but that is also a friggin joke to pretend Matheston is half as conservative as him even in a single election year when he was running scared.
As DJ has pointed out Club for Growth’s lifetime ratings gives Matheson a 42%, (Shimkus a 72%).
I used to rely on ACU ratings, they’ve had some weird numbers in recent years though. And the current 2012 ratings are only available in the form of a “scribd” page where they appear sideways. WTF? Their operation has gotten pretty shoddy.
Still, their lifetime ratings for longtime members are still fairly decent, I would say. Shimkus get’s an 87. Matheson gets a 40. That’s on par or slightly worse than the most liberal RINOs to serve in Congress. Pre-party switch Jim Jeffords and former Maryland House Liberal Connie Morella are the only Republicans I’ve seen with lifetime scores under 40 from ACU. Arlen Specter as a Republican got 44% lifetime.
And let’s not forget, he votes against his party on some things on purpose in an ongoing effort to fool idiots in his district into thinking he’s less liberal than he is and voting for him. He’d vote half as conservative as he does now if his district wasn’t heavily Republican. And he’d vote down the line moonbat if he had the good fortune (for him) to represent a safely rat seat. Let’s also not forget the most important thing, all democrats are DEMOCRATS who support having democrat organization of the House which means MOONBAT MAJORITIES on every committee. So the most conservative rat (which is not Matheson) is still a filthy traitor to this country for the first 2 votes they cast every 2 years (for Speaker and for House rules).
I believe AuH2ORepublican uses his own personal formula that combines various organizational rankings.
Speak of the devil. ;p
We should publish your ratings somehow.
Very interesting thread, I appreciate the Christmas Spirit, and the depth of conversation.
Merry Christmas to all, thanks for a good time and to Jim Robinson for making it possible.