Five-term Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) said Wednesday he would retire rather than face a primary challenge against Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) after redistricting redrew his congressional district into a Republican stronghold.

"My only two options are to run in a primary with David Price or not to run," Miller told the Raleigh News & Observer. "I have talked to a lot of friends who have supported David and me. Some would support David. And some would support me. But none of them want to see a primary between us."


Price's 4th congressional district became more strongly Democratic in the redistricting, while Miller's 13th district turned solidly Republican. The GOP controls the Legislature in North Carolina, responsible for redistricting in the state.

Price commended Miller in a statement released Thursday morning.

“North Carolinians deserve members of Congress who fight for what is right, and Brad Miller has been fighting for what is right for the last decade," Price said.

“His decision today will avoid a divisive primary in the Fourth District if the unfair and illegal maps drawn by General Assembly Republicans are allowed to govern this election. I will continue to fight—with Congressional and General Assembly colleagues—to overturn them in court," he added.

Republicans are excited by what they see as a potential November pickup.

“Brad Miller’s decision gives Republicans a very promising opportunity heading into the November elections," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. "With one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, North Carolina families want a new leader who will put an end to the Democrats’ reckless, job-destroying agenda.” 

Miller had held out hope that state courts might overturn the Republican map, but a three-judge panel decided Friday not to postpone what would have been a May primary showdown between the two Democrats.

Miller said he thought it unlikely that he would run again for public office, but said he was unsure what he would do after leaving Congress.

"It's been a very long time since I've done a résumé, but I really do not know. I assume I will not be unemployable," Miller told the News & Observer.