Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Rep. George Holding, a North Carolina Republican who saw his district change to mainly Democrat-leaning voters after a new congressional map was drawn up, said Friday he won't run to keep his House seat next year.
The four-term congressman and former federal prosecutor said the redrawn district was part of the reason he's stepping away from the House, but also said leaving Congress will give him time to reflect on his political career.
"I have witnessed moments and met men and women who were inspiring, and I've also seen moments that were not so inspiring," Holding said in a statement. "But, at the end of the day, my faith in our country has been strengthened. No people on earth cherish our freedoms like Americans."
"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," he added.
The new district map was drawn up by state lawmakers.
Holding's former district included parts of five rural counties and Wake County, where North Carolina State University and the city of Raleigh are located. The redistricting culled away most of the rural counties and left him with the bulk of Wake County.
Holding beat Democrat Linda Coleman by more than 6 percent in the 2018 election. Former Democratic lawmaker Deborah Ross and Wake County school board member Monika Johnston-Hostler have already said they'll run in the new district.
Republicans are expected by most experts to lose two House seats in the new map.