Holding won't run for re-election

Posted December 6, 2019 11:10 a.m. EST
Updated December 6, 2019 11:22 a.m. EST

Rep. George Holding, candidate for the 2nd Congressional District

— Congressman George Holding won't seek re-election in his newly redrawn district, he said Friday.

Holding, a Wake County Republican in his fourth term, said in a statement that now is "a good time for me to step back and reflect on all that I have learned." He said he hopes someday to return to public office.

"No people on earth cherish our freedoms like Americans," Holding said in the statement. "It has also been gratifying to work for the ideals and values that I, like many other Americans, believe in. And so it is with regret that I announce I will not be a candidate for Congress this election."

Holding acknowledged in his statement that the newly redrawn congressional map contributed to his decision.

To correct a gerrymander, the courts forced the General Assembly to redraw the map this fall, and a 10-3 Republican advantage in North Carolina's congressional delegation is likely to become 8-5, based on the new lines and past election results.

Holding and Republican 6th District Congressman Mark Walker are the likely casualties, as their districts are now more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican. Walker hasn't announced a decision on re-election, but his campaign recently polled his chances against U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in a Republican Senate primary next year and his chances against surrounding Republican incumbents in the House of Representatives, congressmen Ted Budd and Patrick McHenry.

Several Democrats have expressed interest in running for Holding's seat in the new 2nd Congressional District, including former state legislator and U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross, but so far none has filed with the State Board of Elections.

Holding said in his statement that what he's learned about government, elections and public life during his time in Congress "could fill a book."

"I have witnessed moments and met men and women who were inspiring, and I’ve also seen moments that were not so inspiring," he said. "But, at the end of the day, my faith in our country has been strengthened."

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