The Democratic Party appears to be facing bleak chances of holding on to a majority in the House of Representatives after next year’s midterm elections.
According to recent reports, yet another House Democratic has announced that this will be his final term in the chamber.
As the Washington Examiner explained, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) made his intentions known in a statement on Thursday.
Earlier reports signaled the likelihood that he would retire and he confirmed that it was a “difficult” decision that he ultimately believed was the right one to make. He went on to thank his constituents for allowing him to represent them on Capitol Hill.
As for why he picked now to bow out of the House, he suggested that redistricting was a major concern, describing it as “partisan” and “racially gerrymandered,” which left him “terribly disappointed” in the process.
Butterfield is currently serving his ninth congressional term and has been representing his district since 2004. Most recently, he won re-election by a nine-point margin.
Following recent redistricting, however, his chances of winning have plummeted. Current projections show he would likely eke out a razor-thin one-point victory.
The latest in a long line of departures
Because of this change, North Carolina Republicans see an opportunity to flip the seat during the upcoming elections. It appears that Butterfield did not like his odds of winning so he had decided to simply call it quits.
He has been a consistently partisan figure, voting along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 100% of the time since the beginning of the current term.
Butterfield is the second Democratic congressman from the state to announce his retirement, following a similar statement last month by Rep. David Price (D-NC).
Perhaps more significant is the fact that he is the 13th incumbent member of the House to announce a departure from the chamber ahead of the midterms. Most are Democrats or centrist Republicans who have revealed an intention to either retire or seek another public office.
All in all, these departures seem to signal the increasingly likely result of a GOP takeover of Congress next year. Historical trends and sagging approval ratings throughout the party are also contributing to cautious optimism among many Republican pundits.