Dem. Rep. Butterfield suddenly calls it quits

Fox News reports that U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) has just resigned. 

Butterfield’s time as a U.S. representative was scheduled to come to an end on Tuesday with the swearing-in of the new 118th Congress.

But, instead of waiting for that to happen, he has decided to call it quits a couple of days early.

Butterfield’s retirement from Congress was expected. But, the early departure was not.

Background

Butterfield has spent the past 18 years in Congress, representing North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. But, last year, he announced that he would not be seeking re-election in the 2022 midterm elections.

“It is time for me to retire, and allow the torch to be passed to someone who shares the values of the district, and continue the work I have labored so hard for the past 18 years,” Butterfield said in November 2021.

Butterfield, at the time, seemed to place the blame for his retirement decision on redistricting, which turned his district from a Democratic stronghold to more of a competitive race in which Republicans had a better chance to win.

Butterfield, at the time, claimed:

The map that was recently enacted by the legislature is a partisan map. It’s racially gerrymandered. It will disadvantage African American communities all across the 1st congressional district. I am disappointed, terribly disappointed with the Republican majority legislature for again gerrymandering our state’s congressional districts and putting their party politics over the best interests of North Carolinians.

In the midterm elections, Democrat Don David was elected to replace Butterfield.

Butterfield’s early dismissal

It was on Friday that Butterfield announced that he would be leaving Congress a few days earlier than anticipated.

“I’m taking a new job tomorrow,” Butterfield said. “It’s another phase of my professional life, so I’m looking forward to it. It will be a slower pace.”

Fox reports that “Butterfield is set to begin lobbying and working as a policy consultant at a Washington law firm following his retirement.”

It is not immediately clear why Butterfield felt the need to resign a few days early. Also unclear is which lobbying firm it is that Butterfield will be working for.

“I will be a senior advisor there,” Butterfield said without naming the firm. “There will be dozens of associates in the firm, and many of them are engaged in lobbying and so I will give them advice and counsel on effective lobbying both at the federal and state level.”

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