Raleigh, N.C. — Facing a tough re-election bid, Democratic 7th District Congressman Mike McIntyre said Wednesday that he won't seek a 10th term in the U.S. House in November.
McIntyre narrowly won the 2012 election over former state Sen. David Rouzer in a district that was redrawn by Republican lawmakers in 2011 to be more friendly to Republican candidates. The district stretches southeast from Johnston County to the coast.
"In eastern North Carolina, we have demonstrated that public service is a partnership between the people and the representative they entrust to speak on their behalf," McIntyre said in a statement. "For us, this has been where the priorities of policy over politics, issues over ideology, dialogue over dollars and cooperation over campaigning have prevailed. Having answered the call entrusted through this partnership, I will be retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of this term."
The National Republican Congressional Committee has targeted the 7th District for the past year as the GOP tries to build on its control of the U.S. House, and Rouzer plans to run again for the seat in November.
"After falling just a handful of votes short in 2012, it is with great optimism that my supporters and I continue our mission to bring conservative leadership to southeastern North Carolina," Rouzer said in a statement. "I will work hard to find long-term solutions to the significant challenges facing our coastal, business and farm communities, as well as our veterans."
"This retirement announcement ... proves that 'Obamacare' and its negative impact continues to burden Democrats in 2014, even for Democrats who voted against the law like McIntyre," NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.
McIntyre, who serves on the House Agriculture and Armed Services committees, is among only four Democrats in the U.S. House from North Carolina, although the 12th District seat is now vacant following this week's resignation of Congressman Mel Watt as he became director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Republican Sixth District Congressman Howard Coble also plans to step down at the end of his term.
McIntyre didn't say in his statement what he plans to do after leaving Washington, D.C., saying only that he is "excited about new opportunities to continue helping North Carolina."
In a statement, President Barack Obama thanked McIntyre for his service and wished him well.
"In his 17 years representing the people of North Carolina in the U.S. Congress, Mike McIntyre has been a strong advocate for our men and women in uniform and a key voice on issues that shape the lives of Americans in rural communities," Obama said. "He’s also been an active participant in the annual National Prayer Breakfast – a reflection of his deep faith."