Senate races

Burr pledges to retire after one more Senate term

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is pledging to make his next term in the Senate his last if he wins reelection in November.

A spokesman for the North Carolina Republican confirmed to The Hill that the senator’s 2016 fight will be his final Senate election. Burr first told his state delegation Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

{mosads}The announcement potentially sets up an open seat for 2022 in North Carolina if Burr wins this fall.

He isn’t the first senator to pledge to retire if he wins his current race. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) made a similar promise in 2012, though he’s shifted away from his comments since then.

Burr is facing Democratic opponent Deborah Ross in the November election. The senator, who will serve out his entire term if he wins reelection, added that he looks forward to a “spirited campaign” against Ross.

“We can showcase all the work we have done for North Carolina families in the United States Senate in stark contrast with Deborah Ross who defended countless radical and out of touch ACLU policies,” he said Wednesday.

He added that this role as chairman of the Intelligence Committee and “working to keep Americans safe” is his top priority.

Democrats are hoping that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will drag down GOP incumbents in purple states, including Burr.

Cole Leiter, a spokesman for Ross’s campaign, said Burr’s retirement pledge is unnecessary because “voters will do it for him this fall.”  

“Since he was first elected to Congress, Senator Burr has become a millionaire, voted to raise his own pay, and voted against tax cuts for the middle class,” he said.

The North Carolina senator currently has a narrow 3.6 point lead in polling of the race, according to RealClearPolitics.

But he has a sizable war chest heading into November, with more than $6.5 million cash on hand at the end of June — the latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing available. Ross had more than $1.9 million in the bank at the end of June, according to the FEC.

This story was updated at 1:39 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Orrin Hatch Richard Burr

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