U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth says he won’t run for reelection. What’s next?

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U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth announced Wednesday that he won’t run for reelection in south central Indiana’s 9th District, raising speculation about what the three-term Republican congressman might do next.

“I took a pledge to limit my own terms to four because of this very idea: to remind me to focus on the people and that serving the public wasn’t intended to be a career by our founders,” the Republican wrote in an op-ed for several media organizations.

Hollingsworth, 38, didn’t directly address his future plans in the piece, but lamented the “misaligned incentive” of “politicians using their office to catapult themselves to another office, to a Committee assignment, or to a high-paying lobbying job.”

Hollingsworth’s team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. However, his op-ed said he is contemplating “how I can work for you in new and better ways in the future.”

Should he decide to continue in politics, he would have the opportunity to run for Indiana’s highest office, that of the governor. It will be an open seat in the 2024 because under state law Gov. Eric Holcomb is prohibited from seeking a third term.

Democrats immediately raised the possibility of Hollingsworth potentially running for governor.

“It’s no secret that Tennessee Trey will try to buy his way into the Governor’s office in 2024 and attempt to lead an Indiana Republican Party that continues to push their extreme culture wars ahead of a better future for Hoosier families,” Indiana Democratic Party spokesman Drew Anderson said in an email.

Hollingsworth, the son of a Tennessee business mogul, was first elected in 2016. He moved to Indiana’s 9th District the year before launching his first, largely self-funded, campaign.

Hollingsworth, who lives with his family in Jeffersonville, was one of only 35 House Republicans who voted with Democrats last year to establish an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

He is the 12th Republican in the House to opt to retire or seek another office.

Hollingsworth, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University, co-founded a company that rebuilds manufacturing sites. He was ranked as one of the wealthiest members of Congress during his first term. He made headlines a month after the start of the pandemic by arguing that it was time for Americans to go back to work after companies and governments shut down in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The answer, he said, is “unequivocally to get Americans back to work, to get Americans back to their businesses,” reopening schools and churches as well.

“There is no zero-harm choice here,” he told Indianapolis’s WIBC.

“Both of these decisions will lead to harm for individuals, whether that’s dramatic economic harm or whether it’s loss of life,” Hollingsworth added. “But it’s always the American government’s position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life of American lives, we have to always choose the latter.”

He often pointed to his experience as an outsider as one of the reasons he should represent Indiana voters on Capitol Hill.

“We need more people from outside of politics, to change how things work,” he wrote. “As a businessman, I invested in shuttered warehouses and helped turn around companies.”

“As an outsider, I was successful because it was clear to me that those who have an incentive to maintain the status quo can’t be relied upon to change the status quo,” the lawmaker added.

Republicans are favored to recapture majority control of the House in November’s midterm elections as the party out of power typically prevails in a president’s first term. While 12 Republicans have decided against reelection, 26 Democrats have said they will retire or seek another office.

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9 thoughts on “U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth says he won’t run for reelection. What’s next?

  1. Someone should change their name to “None of the above” and get on the Republican primary ballot for 2024.

    Because they’d win easy.

    Mike Braun
    Todd Rokita
    Trey Hollingsworth
    None Of The Above

    1. Joe, your fellow Democrats have a meeting at 7p to decide which violent criminals they are going to pay bail for and get them back on the street. You better hurry or you’re going to be late!

    2. Yes, I’m the Democrat who voted for Holcomb in 2020 and would in 2024 if he was eligible.

      And voted for Mitch twice before that.

      And Lugar every chance I got.

      Go on and tell me which of those is a good choice to lead Indiana. Two MAGA empty suits and a carpetbagger from Tennessee if you ask me.

    3. Joe, the only thing sadder than the Republican field is that the Democrats literally have no one positioned to run against a carpetbagger or an empty suit.

      (Another “Democrat” who voted the same as you for the good Republicans.)

    4. The Marion County Republican Party and Indiana Democratic Party battle to see who will be the most inept.

      Then again a lot of voters let the R and D labels carry far too much weight compared to the character and positions of the candidate. I mean, you really think Jonathan Weinzapfel would have been a worse choice than Todd Rokita to be the Attorney General?

      The Rokita who as Secretary of Stats once proposed making it a felony for lawmakers to use political data in redistricting is long, long gone.

    5. I have met and worked with Weinzapfel, and I can’t imagine how he possibly could have been worse as AG than the one who beat him.

  2. Chuck, the neo-cons hate populism and conflate it with fascism because it’s an excuse for them not to have to confront the fact that establishment hacks from both the R and D have been washing one another’s hands so much that the two parties are indistinguishable. Don’t get me wrong: the legacy media is there to keep the shroud intact, and some of these people are simply ignorant of news if NYT/WaPo/NPR/Fox/CNN don’t report it. (Note that I include Fox and “non-profit” NPR as part of the hack corporate media.)

    It explains in large part why we see so many neo-cons overtly siding with leftists–completely ignoring the massively higher rates of rioting and violence coming from the left, let alone their desire to overturn the republic (federalizing the elections, enabling mail fraud, removing the Electoral College) to preserve the status quo. It’s all part of their desperate attempt to shield themselves with the reality that there IS a Deep State: it may not be conscious in many respects, but what the insiders see as “bipartisanship” is actually just “elitism” to a large and growing wing, mostly (but not entirely) coming from the right. The neo-cons will continue to get thrown out because they’re serving their neo-lib buddies and THEMSELVES over the wishes of their constituents, who they like to paint as radical and beyond the pale simply because they don’t want their country (and the millions of working class jobs they depend upon) getting sold upriver.

    Neo-cons like Lugar had a great run and weren’t bad for Indiana in the least. But thankfully for Lugar’s legacy, he was voted out and then died so he couldn’t outlast his sell-by date. We can all imagine that Lugar would have been in the Liz Cheney camp if he had still been alive, suggesting that his principles toward serving an ideology seated in Washington was far more important than his constituents.

    Joe Manchin is a more honest politician than most of the neocons. So is Bernie Sanders, for that matter. And in a hypothetical fantasy land, if Mitt Romney or Liz Cheney ran against Sanders, I’d pick the latter. Sanders doesn’t seem to see his constituents as his subjects. He doesn’t hate the riff-raff quite like the neo-cons do. I’m increasingly of the belief that George Dubya Bush’s “lovable doofus” was just schtick.

    1. Lauren, how many neo-cons and D’s have been convicted for the violence of Jan 6th? That piece of violence was solely orchestrated and conducted by your MAGA friends. Are you seriously implying Indiana would have been a better place with Dick Mourdoch in Richard Lugar’s senate seat? I’ll readily admit I would have applauded any Indiana Senator who stood by their convictions and supported Liz Cheney.

  3. Populism is fine, as long as you’re clear you can only have it with the destruction of American democracy. Just be clear you’re after Putin’s Russia or Orban’s Hungary, neither of which is a democracy. Just own who you want to be.

    Oh, and there was not fraud in the 2016 or 2020 elections that would have changed the result. You know that, you just can’t admit it. I mean, there were those Trumpers at the Villages … but they caught and prosecuted them.