House Republican retires rather than run in district no longer rigged for GOP

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Rep. George Holding (R-NC) would have to face reelection in a new district after the court threw out the state's illegally gerrymandered map.

Rep. George Holding (R-NC) on Friday became the 22nd House Republican to announce their retirement from Congress, part of a mass GOP exodus from Congress ahead of the 2020 election.

Holding attributed his retirement in part to a redraw of North Carolina's House districts.

"I should add, candidly, that yes, the newly redrawn Congressional Districts were part of the reason I have decided not to seek reelection," Holding wrote in a statement announcing his retirement, adding that he is "hopeful that, if it is part of the Good Lord's plan, I will someday return to public office."

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The state's congressional map was tossed out by the courts for being an illegal Republican gerrymander. A new map was drawn that makes Holding's Raleigh-based district too difficult for a Republican to win.

According to Daily Kos Elections, Holding's district went from one that Donald Trump carried with 53% of the vote, to one that Hillary Clinton won with 60% of the vote.

Holding, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, is now the 22nd House Republican to call it quits, and the second to announce their retirement this week alone.

On Thursday, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) — a top ally to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — announced his retirement.

The large number of Republicans choosing not to seek reelection in 2020 is seen as an indicator that Republicans do not think the 2020 election will be favorable to their party — nor that they have a shot at taking back the majority Democrats won in 2018.

Roll Call's campaign expert Nathan Gonzales moved a dozen House contest ratings to better favor Democrats, writing, "Democrats are most likely to maintain their majority in the next Congress."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.