The following is a look at resignations and retirements from the 115th Congress (current). Each is presented alphabetically by state with reasons and the possible effects on the 2018 midterms.
Alabama- Jeff Sessions (R) retired to become Attorney General. A special election will take place that pits GOP Roy Moore against Democrat Doug Jones.
Arizona- Republican incumbent Senator Jeff Flake is retiring after this term and faced a difficult run had he decided to stay in the race. At this point, one would have to put this race as a toss-up.
Republican Trent Franks (8th district)- resigned amid a sex scandal involving surrogacy and payments. His resignation moves this district from SAFE Republican to LEANS Republican.
Democrat Krysten Sinema (9th district)- retiring to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake. Sinema looks like the front runner for that Senate nod for the Democrats. Her exit from the 9th district makes this race in 2018 good for a possible GOP pick-up in the House.
Colorado- Democrat Jared Polis is vacating the 2nd District seat to run for Governor in 2018. This is a fairly safe Democratic seat.
Florida- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the GOP incumbent vacating the 27th District seat in 2018. Her departure will likely flip this southern Florida seat to the Democrats in 2018.
Hawaii- Democrat Colleen Hanabusa is retiring to run for the Democratic nod for Governor against current Democrat David Ige. Do not expect any surprise GOP victory here.
Idaho- Republican incumbent in the 1st District Raul Labrador is leaving Washington to become the likely next Governor of Idaho. This is a safe GOP seat.
Illinois- Luis Guitterez in the 4th District has visions of the White House dancing in his head. This hard-headed pro-amnesty Leftist will be a welcome exit from the House. The bad news is that the 4th is safely Democratic and another Leftist moron will likely take the seat.
Indiana- Republican incumbent Todd Rokita in the 4th District is retiring to run for the GOP nod in the gubernatorial race. With his departure, the district remains safely Republican.
Of course, he will battle it out in the GOP primary against Luke Messer who is vacating the 6th district seat. Again, this is a safely Republican seat.
Kansas- Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins is calling it a career in 2018 vacating the 2nd District seat. The seat moves from SAFE to LIKELY Republican.
Maryland- Like Guitterez in Illinois, Democrat John Delaney in the 6th District has visions of the Presidency. His exit from the House gives the GOP a rare opportunity to pick up a seat in a blue state. With the right Republican candidate, keep an eye on this race (although 2010 redistricting made it more difficult for the GOP).
Massachusetts- Democrat Niki Tsongas, a name big in Bay State politics, announced her pending retirement. We are talking Massachusetts here, so don’t expect a GOP surprise.
Michigan- Sander Levin, the Democratic incumbent in the 9th District, is leaving Congress after 35 years to work at the University of Michigan. Keep an eye on this race as the district is not that staunchly Democratic.
In a surprise retirement, Republican Dave Trott is vacating the 11th District. Unlike other retirements, this puts the district in serious danger of flipping to the Democrats in 2018.
In what is not a surprise, accused horn dog John Conyers, the long-time serving Democrat from the 13th District is resigning amid a growing sex scandal. Unlike the 11th, this seat is safely Democratic and do not expect any changes.
Minnesota- The big news is the retirement of serial groper Al Franken and a unique opportunity for the GOP to pick up a Senate seat under the right set of circumstances and the right candidate. Some have suggested Tim Pawlenty.
Jim Walz, a Democrat, is vacating the 1st District to run for Governor. This again moves the seat from LIKELY Democrat to a TOSS UP at this point.
Nevada- Jackie Rosen, who won a seat in the House in 2016, is leaving to run for the Senate seat currently held by incumbent Dean Heller. Although the likely winner of their primary, whether she parlays 2 years in the House into a Senate seat is left open for discussion. However, it does put her 3rd District House seat into play for the Republicans.
New Hampshire- Carol Shea-Porter is leaving the 1st District in a surprise to the Democratic Party that set their heads spinning. Every two years, this is a competitive race and looked to be in 2018 also. This is ultimate TOSS UP whether she ran or not, but her departure gives the GOP a slightly greater chance.
New Jersey- In the 2nd District, Republican Frank LoBiondo- a fixture since 1984- is finally retiring. This puts the seat squarely in the sights of the Democratic Party who should pick up a seat here.
New Mexico- An open Governor’s race created two House openings in 2018. In the First, Democrat Michele Lujan-Grisham has entered the race while in the Second, Republican Steve Pearce will seek the GOP gubernatorial nod. Both are likely to win their respective primaries and face off for Governor in 2018. Both House seats become nominally in play and if any is to flip to parties, the more likely is the Republican-held 2nd District seat.
Ohio- Republican Pat Tiberi is retiring from the 12th District to lead the Ohio Round Business Round Table. This makes the open seat more interesting, but likely to be held by the GOP.
In the 16th, Republican Jim Renacci is exiting the House to run for Governor. His departure puts this seat clearly in play for a Democratic pick up.
Oklahoma- First District member Jim Bridenstine is leaving supposedly to head NASA. Regardless, he announced that this was going to be his last term anyway. Don’t expect any change here.
Pennsylvania- Lou Barletta, the GOP incumbent in the 11th District, has decided to take on Bob Casey in the Senate race in 2018. Although a blow to the GOP in the House, the seat may just be safe enough for the GOP.
In the 15th District, Republican Charlie Dent is calling it quits. This puts this seat in jeopardy of being lost to the Democrats.
South Dakota- Republican Kristi Noem, once considered a rising star in the House Republican Caucus, is retiring to run for Governor of her state. One supposes with the right set of circumstances the Democrats can put this seat in play, but its unlikely at this point.
Tennessee- Bob Corker, who never met an Iranian deal he didn’t like, is retiring leaving an open Senate seat. He likely would have faced a decent primary challenge that may have dented him. This is Tennessee and one should not expect a surprise Democratic pick up.
In the 2nd District, John Duncan is hanging it up at the age of 70 and 15 terms under his belt. This is a SAFE Republican district. Meanwhile in the 6th, Diane Black will leave DC and run for Governor of her state in 2018. The Sixth is even more safely Republican than the 2nd.
Speaking of that open Senate seat, Marsha Blackburn- the GOP incumbent in the 7th District- will vacate that seat in the House and run for Corker’s Senate seat. Again, this is a safe Republican seat.
Texas- Ted Poe (R) of the 2nd District is retiring making this seat a possible sleeper race for the Democrats in 2018. In the 3rd, Republican Sam Johnson is also retiring, but this seat looks considerably safer than the 2nd.
Jeb Hensarling and Joe Barton, both Republicans, are retiring from the 5th and 6th Districts respectively. Both seats are safely GOP and should stay there in 2018.
In the 16th, Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat, is retiring to take on Ted Cruz in the Senate race. Unfortunately, his seat looks safely Democratic and fortunately, he will likely lose to Cruz in the Senate race.
There are two more retirements to mention from the Lone Star State- Democrat Gene Green in the 29th and Republican Lamar Smith in the 21st. If any seat is going to flip it would be the 29th in favor of the GOP.
Virginia- Republican Bob Goodlatte in the 6th District announced his retirement shortly after the GOP suffered defeats in Virginia in the 2017 elections. This seat is safely Republican.
Washington- Dave Reichert in the 8th District will retire in 2018 on the GOP side. With that announcement, it is highly likely this seat will fall to the Democrats in 2018.
West Virginia- Evan Jenkins, a Republican, is leaving the House and will attempt to unseat Joe Manchin, the Democratic Senator from West Virginia. The Third District is perhaps the most conservative of the state’s three districts, but still in this political environment, anything is possible. The Democrats may pull someone out of their hat and this race could be more interesting than most people think right now.