The most recent retirement came when Rep. Bart Gordon (Tenn.) decided not to seek a 14th term. While Gordon emphasized his desire to pursue other opportunities after 25 years in the House, party insiders acknowledged that he was swayed by the prospect of a highly competitive contest next November.
Gordon joins Reps. Dennis Moore (Kan.), John Tanner (Tenn.) and Brian Baird (Wash.) as Democratic members in swing districts who have announced their retirements in the past two weeks. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried both Tennessee seats in the 2008 presidential election while narrowly losing in the Washington and Kansas districts. President George W. Bush carried all four of the seats in his 2004 reelection bid.