Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) announced his retirement on Friday morning, making him the 22nd Republican member of Congress who has announced their retirement during the 116th session of Congress.
In a statement released on Friday morning, Roe thanked his constituents for giving him the opportunity to represent him before adding, “As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career. After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress.”
Roe was elected in 2008 and he will be finishing his sixth term before he retires. He was a powerful Republican and served as the ranking member on the Committee for Veteran’s Affairs.
In his statement, he praised bipartisanship writing, “I’m proud of the bipartisan successes.”They don’t always make the headlines, but they are critical to our nation’s future.”
Notably, Roe didn’t mention President Donald Trump until late in his statement, writing, “I look forward to finishing my term strongly for the East Tennesseans that I love representing and working with President Trump in favor of the free-market, conservative policies so many of us hold dear.”
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent East Tennessee! https://t.co/ZbTouli4Lc— Dr. Phil Roe (@DrPhilRoe) January 3, 2020
There is no doubt that Trump has reshaped the power structure of the Republican side of Congress and that he’s rubbed more than a few Republican members of Congress the wrong way. There are now 22 Republican members who have announced that they are retiring after this session — that’s compared to only six Democrats who have announced retirement.
However, Roe’s district is a deep red district that Trump carried with 75% of the votes and there’s little chance that a Democrat will be able to flip the district, which lies in northeast Tennessee.
According to Roll Call, the average number of members of Congress to retire during an election cycle is only 23, meaning that this cycle has far surpassed the average.