House

Vulnerable Democrat won't seek reelection

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) announced Friday that she will not seek reelection in 2018, creating an open race for a swing seat.

Shea-Porter's Manchester-area district is one of the most competitive districts in the country. It's one of only 12 districts won by President Trump that are currently represented by Democrats.

Shea-Porter is opting not to seek reelection only nine months after taking the oath of office in January. She has switched places twice in the last seven years with ex-Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), whom she unseated for the second time in 2016. Guinta successfully challenged her in the 2010 and 2014 GOP wave elections.

Shea-Porter is the third Democrat representing a Trump district who has decided not to seek reelection to the House. Reps. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) are running for governor and Senate, respectively.

Trump carried Shea-Porter's district by just under 2 points over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But it went for President Obama twice in 2008 and 2012.

Despite Trump's win in her district, Shea-Porter was among the dozens of Democrats who boycotted his inauguration. But she avoided offering gratuitous criticism of Trump when she made her plans known at the time, saying only that she would instead attend "religious services."

The New Hampshire swing seat had already been one of the GOP's top targets as it tries to defend its majority in 2018.

"This was already a top pick-up opportunity even before Rep. Shea-Porter's announcement and we are confident we will turn this district red once again," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Matt Gorman.

Shea-Porter said in a statement that she wanted to spend more time with her family, but expressed optimism for Democrats' chances of winning the House majority in 2018.

"This has been a very difficult decision, given how much I have enjoyed serving [the people of New Hampshire] in the House and the fact that the 2018 election is shaping up to be like 2006, when I was first elected, an important time when Congress changed political leadership and was able to move America forward," Shea-Porter said.

"While I certainly would enjoy being part of that, I felt the tug of family at our reunion on Independence Day, and I have continued to feel it."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee predicted it would keep Shea-Porter's seat in their column next year.

"There is no doubt that Democrats will hold this seat, and we look forward to competing against whomever Steve Bannon nominates," DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said in a statement, referring to Trump's former chief strategist.

Since leaving the White House, Bannon, now chairman of Breitbart News, has actively involved himself in campaigns, often pitting his preferred conservative candidate against an establishment-backed one.

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