Rep. G. K. Butterfield announced Thursday he will retire at the end of his term, delivering a blow to Democrats’ efforts to maintain control of the House after next year’s midterm elections.
Congressman Butterfield Announces his Retirement https://t.co/y11dxGOgA3— G. K. Butterfield (@GKButterfield) November 18, 2021
In a video announcement, Butterfield, who has represented his North Carolina district since 2004, said the changes from the state’s redistricting process left him “terribly disappointed.”
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The new North Carolina map made Butterfield’s previously safe district much more friendly to Republicans. Butterfield carried his previous district by 9 points last year, but his new district would have reelected him by just 1.
He denounced the “partisan” map as “racially gerrymandered” and unfair to black voters in the district, one that was previously a majority-minority district. The state’s map is currently under litigation.
Butterfield, 74, called his decision “difficult” but said it was time for him to retire, thanking his constituents “for one of the greatest privileges for which I will be forever grateful.”
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Butterfield will be the 13th incumbent House lawmaker to retire at the end of their term.
Several incumbent Democrats will either retire or leave to seek another office, creating an additional hurdle for the party’s efforts to maintain or expand their majority next year. Polls indicate maintaining a majority will be an uphill battle for Democrats, as generic Republican candidates currently lead Democrats in polls and President Joe Biden’s approval rating continues to dip.