It’s a time for declarations — some, like Indiana Senator Dan Coats, are announcing they’re stepping down. Others, like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are stepping up. Which leads to this week’s question: Coats is the third senator* to call it quits this cycle — following Barbaras Boxer and Mikulski. This is the second time Coats has retired from the Senate — he also left after 1998 but came back in 2011.
So the trivia question is: Who was the LAST senator to announce his or her retirement in two separate cycles?
Submit your answer in the box below. We’ll pick a winner at random from the bunch. The winner will get a fabulous Political Junkie button. Don’t forget, you can get the trivia question a whole day early by simply liking our Political Junkie page on Facebook. We post the question every Wednesday. You can sign up for our Political Junkie newsletter, too. You’ll get all the latest from Team PJ every weekend.
As for last week’s question — the Kentucky Wildcats went into the tournament undefeated, 34-0. Now they’re headed to the Final Four. The question was: who was the last president who went undefeated in his political career (including general elections and contested primaries). This question led a fair amount of chatter, including a blog post on the Fix on and a lively discussion with our Washington Post pal, Aaron Blake, on our latest show.
The answer: John F. Kennedy. He was elected to three terms in the House and two in the Senate. When he ran for president in 1960, he did not lose a contested primary. True, he did lose out in his bid to be vice president to Estes Kefauver at the 1956 Democratic convention. But that was not a general election or a primary.
And that also leaves Steve Martin of Vernon Hills, Illinois as this week’s winner. Steve gets the coveted Political Junkie button.
*Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday became the fourth.