Updated: May 29, 9:53 a.m. | Several Democrats in difficult races this cycle have called for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, putting political distance between themselves and a scandal that has rocked the White House.
- Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., became the first Senate Democrat to call for Shinseki’s resignation, tweeting Wednesday that he “must step down.” Udall faces an unexpectedly tough re-election bid against Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who called for Shinseki’s resignation earlier this month.
- Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., quickly followed suit Wednesday, and urged President Barack Obama to “remove Secretary Shinseki from office” in a statement. Walsh, who recently appointed to the seat, faces a competitive election in a red state against Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont.
- Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. also joined the call, saying of Shinseki in a statement: “I believe it is time for him to step aside.” Hagan is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats this cycle and her battle for re-election against Republican Thom Tillis is one of the most competitive races in the country.
- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., another Democrat facing a potentially difficult re-election, joined the calls for the secretary’s resignation on Wednesday. Sinema is a member of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program, which aims to help the most vulnerable incumbents hold onto their seats.
- Last week, Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., another member of the Frontline program, marked the first Democrat to call for Shinseki to resign.
- Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., who faces a very tough re-election in a Tossup district, said Wednesday that, “Shinseki should resign immediately or President Obama should ask him to leave.”
- Rep. Ron Barber, another member of the Frontline program and a top target of the National Republican Congressional Committee, added his voice to the call for Shinseki’s resignation Wednesday afternoon. “It is time for a change in VA leadership,” he said in a statement. “I call on Secretary Shinseki to step down immediately.”
- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., called for Shinseki’s resignation late Thursday night. “Today, after reading the Inspector General’s interim report, I am calling for General Shinseki’s resignation,” she said in a statement. Shaheen faces a competitive challenger in former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass.