Rep. Myrick announces she’ll retire this year

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) will not run for reelection in November, the nine-term congresswoman announced Tuesday.

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First elected in 1994, Myrick was one of the first Republicans to join the Tea Party Caucus in the House, and served on the Energy and Commerce and Intelligence committees.

Myrick did not cite a reason for her retirement, but said on her Facebook page that she had consulted with her family before deciding against a 10th term.

“We will spend the rest of the year working on the issues that are important to all of you, and I hope to be a positive influence in all our negotiations,” Myrick wrote. “I hope you will join me in praying that God will heal our nation.”

Myrick won her last reelection by 38 points over Democrat Jeff Doctor. She becomes the third member of North Carolina’s congressional delegation to announce his or her retirement so far this year. Democratic Reps. Brad Miller and Heath Shuler have both decided against running for another term.

The congresswoman has long been a conservative firebrand: Myrick has sponsored a bill to deport illegal immigrants convicted of drunken driving, said former President Jimmy Carter should lose his passport after he met with Hamas and has called for slashing federal aid to colleges that knowingly admit illegal immigrants.

She was once considered a rising star in the House Republican Conference, but twice faced setbacks. She backed an unsuccessful coup against then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997, and when she ran for a leadership post shortly thereafter lost badly. In 2006 she backed then-Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) against now-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) when the two faced off for Republican minority leader.

Myrick’s district remained Republican-leaning in the state’s redistricting plan. The GOP should have no problem holding it in the future.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said in a statement that Myrick had been a "pillar of strength" in the House and a model to which her successor should aspire.

“Sue Myrick has been a strong conservative voice and proven leader during her tenure of more than 17 years in Congress. I applaud her tireless fight for continued breast cancer research and legislation that aims at stopping the disease she overcame with such courage and determination. 

— This story was last updated at 4:09 p.m.

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