Another House GOP Retirement: Holding Won’t Seek Reelection, Citing Redistricting

UNITED STATES - MARCH 8 - Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., speaks at the Wake County Republican Party 2016 County Convention at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
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Citing redistricting in his home state, another House Republican has decided not to run for reelection in 2020: Rep. George Holding (R-NC).

In a statement on Friday, Holding said that his district had become more Democratic on the congressional map and that factored into his decision. His announcement makes good on a promise he made earlier this week that he wouldn’t run again if he didn’t think he could win and he wouldn’t encroach on a reliably Republican neighboring district already held by a colleague.

“What I have learned about our government, and elections, and public life could fill a book. I have witnessed moments and met men and women who were inspiring, and I’ve also seen moments that were not so inspiring. But, at the end of the day, my faith in our country has been strengthened. No people on earth cherish our freedoms like Americans,” he said in a statement shared with TPM.

“I should add, candidly, that, yes, the newly redrawn Congressional Districts were part of the reason I have decided not to seek reelection. But, in addition, this is also a good time for me to step back and reflect on all that I have learned,” he continued, leaving the door open for another public office bid in the future. “I am also hopeful that, if it is part of the good lord’s plan, I will someday return to public office – that there will be other opportunities for me to fight for the ideals and conservative principles I believe in.”

Holding, who is serving his first term representing North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District and is a member of the House Budget, Ethics and Ways and Means Committee, also thanked his family and the American people. He also represented the state’s 13th District from 2013 to 2017.

Under the new state’s new map, Holding’s 2nd District will shift largely Democratic. As Daily Kos Elections calculates, Hillary Clinton would have won Holding’s newly redrawn district by 24 points in 2016. Trump won the previous version of the district by 6 points, as Roll Call notes. 

Holding is the 18th Republican to announce his or her retirement from Congress and not announce a bid for another office this election cycle and the second this week. On Thursday, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) announced he wouldn’t seek reelection. Many speculate that mass exoduses often occur with the minority party following the first term with a new majority.

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