Rep. G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Democrats confront rising retirements as difficult year ends Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 MORE (N.C.) will reportedly not seek reelection next year, becoming the latest congressional Democrat to announce retirement ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Spectrum News 1 reported on Wednesday that Butterfield, who was first elected to Congress in 2004 to serve in North Carolina's 1st Congressional District, will not run for a 10th term next year.
Butterfield’s office would not confirm or deny the reports of the congressman’s retirement but told Spectrum News 1 that “the official announcement will be made later today or tomorrow.”
The Hill has reached out to Butterfield's office for more information.
News of Butterfield’s potential retirement is another blow to Democrats, who seem to be facing an increasingly difficult path to holding control of the House next year as more incumbents announce that they will not run for office again.
Nine House Democrats have announced that they are retiring from Congress next year, setting the scene for a series of high-stakes battles for control of the chamber.
Republicans need to pick up five seats next year to once again control the House.
Most recently, Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierClyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit MORE (D-Calif.) announced on Wednesday that she will not seek reelection next year, saying she wants to “come home” and “be more than a weekend wife, mother and friend.”
New congressional maps were approved in North Carolina by its GOP-majority General Assembly, which put the congressman in a potentially competitive seat. With the new maps, Butterfield’s district would not include the Democratic-leaning Greenville, Spectrum News 1 noted.
Democrats are suing the state over the news maps, contending that the lines were drawn for political purposes, which is unconstitutional in the Tar Heel State, according to The Associated Press. The group that is leading the lawsuit was reportedly successful in previous litigation against the state’s congressional maps.
Earlier this month, the National Republican Congressional Committee added Butterfield to its list of vulnerable Democrats the group is targeting ahead of next year’s midterm races.
Butterfield has represented parts of eastern North Carolina during his time in Congress. He previously served as the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2015 until 2017.
Before joining Congress, Butterfield was appointed to serve on the North Carolina Supreme Court, where he authored more than 15 opinions on matters including judicial sentencing procedures, eminent domain and the application of capital punishment, according to his House website.