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Rep. G.K. Butterfield won't seek re-election, cites 'racial' gerrymandering

By Rich Klein
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Rep. G.K. Butterfield won't seek re-election, cites 'racial' gerrymandering
Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., holds a news conference with the House Rural Broadband Task Force at the U.S. Capitol in June 2020. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2022 after his district was redrawn.

Butterfield said the Republican-led legislature's redrawing of congressional boundaries would make it significantly harder for him to win in the next election.

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He described the new 1st District map as partisan and "racially gerrymandered," saying, "It will disadvantage African American communities all across the 1st Congressional District."

He made the announcement in a YouTube video that was shared on Twitter.

Butterfield, the 10th House Democrat to announce retirement plans before the 2022 midterm elections, is a civil rights attorney and former Superior Court judge.

He was first elected in 2004 when he retired from the bench and ran in a special election. North Carolina's existing 1st District is located in the northeastern corridor of the state and spans as far west to the city of Henderson. It is comprised of all or part of 15 counties.

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In late 2014, Butterfield was unanimously elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, a position he served through 2017.

On Tuesday, California Democrat Jackie Speier also announced that she won't run for re-election to the House of Representatives in 2022. And on Monday, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving Democrat in the Senate, announced his retirement.

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