Member of the House of Representatives G.K. Butterfield (DN.C.) announced his resignation Thursday morning, another blow to Democrats’ efforts to maintain their House majority in the 2022 midterm elections.
Butterfield, 74, has served Congress for 18 years. He was the former chairman of the Black Congressional Group from 2015 to 2017. He is currently Chairman of the Subcommittee on Elections.
Butterfield criticized a new Congressional district map drawn by the GOP-led state legislature before he announced his retirement in a video ad.
“The card that was recently adopted by the legislature is a guerrilla card. It’s racially instigated, ”Butterfield said. “This will disadvantage African American communities throughout the first constituency.”
According to the 2020 Census, North Carolina won the new county. On November 4, the General Assembly of the state approved a new map of the distribution of districts.
“While I hope the courts will eventually turn this guerrilla card over and see the fair card accepted, I made the difficult decision that I will not seek re-election to the United States House of Representatives,” Butterfield continued, saying it was time for him. on retire.
Democratic voters and support groups have already filed several lawsuits against the newly drawn district map. Republicans said they could not solve the problem.
“When we look at the race, we were told we shouldn’t do this, and these cards were crossed out,” said State Republican Senator Paul Newton in a recent interview. “Now that we are not looking at race, the Democratic Party is telling us, ‘Oh, you have to look at race.”
Newton is co-chair of the North Carolina County Reallocation Committee. This time, the GOP banned the use of election or race data to draw boundaries because the state court had previously removed the district lines drawn by Republicans for this reason.
Potential Democratic candidates to replace Butterfield include Erica Smith and State Senator Don Davis, the Associated Press reported. Smith is a former state senator who filed an unsuccessful bid to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020. Davis made it clear that he was interested in the place, saying that he would share his plan “in due time.”
Republican candidate Sandy Smith of Pitt County has received the backing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former White House attorney Jenna Ellis. She lost to Butterfield in 2020 by eight percentage points, or about 29,000 votes.
In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Butterfield a “respected and effective leader” and a “lifelong civil rights advocate.” Butterfield supported Obamacare by expanding voting rights and the Black Lives Matter movement during his tenure.
Another North Carolina Democratic congressman, Rep. David Price (DN.C.), also announced last month that he would not seek re-election.
Butterfield is a 15th House Democrat not running for re-election in 2022.
There are currently 221 Democrat and 213 Republicans in the US House of Representatives. One Democratic congressman passed away in April and left a vacancy. The Republicans could control the House with only five net benefits.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.