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Second Prominent N.C. Democrat Expected to Announce Retirement

Redistricting claims another victim.

WILSON, N.C. — Rep. G.K. Butterfield is expected to announce his retirement from Congress on Thursday, according to a senior staff member.

WITN, a North Carolina NBC affiliate, reports:

There is speculation that an Eastern Carolina congressman could announce his retirement tomorrow.

Congressman G.K. Butterfield will make “an official announcement tomorrow” about his future plans, according to a senior staff member.

Butterfield’s deputy chief of staff, AJ Malicdem, told our Washington, DC Bureau that he could not “confirm or deny what his decision will be.

Butterfield, a former associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, won a special election to represent North Carolina’s 1st congressional district in 2004. following the resignation of former Rep. Frank Ballance. He is currently a Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus and chaired the Congressional Black Caucus in the 114th Congress.

Speculation of Butterfield’s retirement arose earlier this month after his district was redrawn to be significantly more winnable for Republicans. WUNC also notes that his district, a former Democratic stronghold, now hosts the most competitive House seat in the state.

The 1st district already experienced a notable rightward shift after North Carolina’s districts were ordered to redrawn by a state court in 2018 — in 2020, Butterfield, who once regularly pulled in over two-thirds of his constituents’ votes, defeated Republican Sandy Smith by a significantly narrow margin of 8.4%.

Rep. David Price, a Democrat who was first elected to represent the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle in 1987, announced his retirement last month.

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