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Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2022.

Why it matters: With now 15 House Democrats announcing their retirement, the Democratic party faces a difficult path to retain the House majority next year. Republicans need to pick up at least five seats to gain control.

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What they’re saying: “It is time for me to retire and allow the torch to be passed to someone who shares the values of the district and can continue the work I have labored so hard for the past 18 years,” Butterfield said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Butterfield ” an esteemed and effective leader in the Congress and the Country,” adding that he “has made it his mission [to] expand opportunity in America, and he has succeeded.”

  • “I join my Congressional colleagues in gratitude for Congressman Butterfield’s service and continued leadership through the remainder of his term, and we wish him, his wife Dr. Sylvia James and daughters Valeisha, Lenai and Tunya, the best as they begin their next chapter,” Pelosi said.

Between the lines: Butterfield said he is “terribly disappointed” with North Carolina’s Republican majority legislature “for gerrymandering our state’s congressional districts and putting their party politics over the best interests of North Carolinians.”

Go deeper: Democratic retirements spark worry over holding House majority

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