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2014’s Vulnerable Democrats Demand Eric Shinseki Departure in VA Scandal (Updated)

Democrats are calling for Shinseki to resign in the wake of VA scandal revelations.
Democrats are calling for Shinseki to resign in the wake of VA scandal revelations.

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.