Top Trump defender Mark Meadows is 25th House Republican to call it quits this year

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Meadows' exit comes as a surprise, as Trump will now lose one of his biggest defenders on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) — one of Donald Trump's loudest and most fervent supporters on Capitol Hill — will not seek reelection in 2020, according to multiple reports.

Meadows is reportedly still looking to help Trump when he leaves, which may happen before his term expires.

Meadows is now the 25th House Republican who will not return for the next Congress. The House GOP retirement list could continue to grow, as a number of lawmakers go home over the holidays and think about whether to seek reelection.

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A number of the Republican retirements give Democrats an opening to pick up seats in 2020.

Meadows' district, however, is difficult for Democrats.

His seat was redrawn to be more competitive in 2020, after a court ruling determined North Carolina Republicans illegally gerrymandered their House map and were forced to redraw it in a more competitive manner. Yet Trump still carried it with 57% in 2016, making it a reach for Democrats.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.