North Carolina Democrat Rep. Heath Shuler - a prominent Blue Dog Dem - has announced he will not run for reelection in November, and also says he won't be running for the state's governorship. Dems and Republicans are reacting.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Steve Israel has released the following statement:
“Since his election in 2006, Congressman Health Shuler has been a strong, independent leader for Western North Carolina families. As co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, he is a fiscal hawk who has fought to end wasteful spending, reduce the deficit, and balance the federal budget. A champion for small businesses, he has worked to cut taxes and increase investments in rural business development programs.
“On behalf of the DCCC, I thank Congressman Shuler for his distinguished service in the House. We look forward to supporting an independent-minded Democratic candidate who reflects the values of this district and will fight to rebuild the middle class and reignite the American dream.”
Meanwhile, Andrea Bozek of the National Republican Congressional Committee, had a rather different take on what's shaping up to be a hotly contested seat:
“It comes as no surprise that Heath Shuler would rather abandon a difficult re-election bid than explain to North Carolina middle-class families why he supported Obama’s job-destroying agenda. In throwing in the towel, Shuler provides Republicans with an opportunity not only to pick up the seat, but to ensure that North Carolina families have a Representative that truly represents their values.”