Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) became the sixth Senate Democrat in a reelection campaign this year to call on embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to go.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), locked in a competitive reelection race against Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), was the first Democratic senator to call on Shinseki to go. Udall’s statement prompted other vulnerable incumbents, Sens. John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) to follow suit. Warner issued his statement Thursday morning.
Two of the most imperiled House Democrats – Ron Barber (Ariz.) and Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.) – issued similar statements Wednesday evening. Other Democrats joined the list on Thursday, including Reps. Steve Israel (N.Y.) and Dan Maffei (N.Y.), along with Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Tom Udall (N.M.), and Martin Heinrich (N.M.), among many more.
Within hours of the report’s release, many prominent Republicans, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), called on Shinseki to leave office as well, as did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
According the the Military Times’s count, 51 House Republicans and 16 House Democrats have called for his resignation, as have 10 Senate Republicans and five Senate Democrats.
Several veterans groups, including The American Legion and the Concerned Veterans of America, have also called for his ouster.
A substantial group of politicians and vets groups have stood by Shinseki, however, including President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (D-Nev.), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Rep. Tammy Duckworth, (R-Ill.), who is a veteran herself. The VFW and the Disabled American Veterans have also voiced support for Shinseki.
The Military Times has a full list of who’s for, who’s against Shinseki’s resignation.