Sources: Congressman Butterfield not seeking re-election

Posted November 17, 2021 5:11 p.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2021 7:58 p.m. EST

— Democratic 1st District Congressman Butterfield has told his staff he won't seek re-election and intends to retire at the end of his term in December 2022, sources have told WRAL News.

An official announcement is expected Thursday, and Butterfield's office refused to confirm or deny his re-election plans on Wednesday.

Sources said changes to the 1st Congressional District that the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved in drawing up a new congressional map played a key role in his decision.

The redrawn district, which will be the 2nd Congressional District, added areas that make it more friendly to a Republican candidate. The 1st District, covering much of the northeast part of the state, has been represented by a Black Democrat since the early 1990s.

Butterfield, 74, went to Congress in July 2004, when he won a special election to succeed Congressman Frank Ballance, who resigned amid a corruption investigation.

During his time in office, Butterfield has been a staunch supporter of affordable health care, investment in rural communities and the nation's veterans.

He also led the Congressional Black Caucus for two years.

Prior to heading to Congress, Butterfield was an associate justice on the state Supreme Court.

Butterfield's expected announcement comes about a month after Democratic 4th District Congressman David Price announced next year would be his last in office. He has represented the Triangle in the U.S. House for all but two years since 1987.

Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, who has been in the Senate since 2005 and previously served in the U.S. House, also plans to retire at the end of 2022.

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