This week, yet another Republican member of Congress has announced that he’s retiring, and the departure slated for the end of this Congressional term essentially represents Democrats getting the seat handed to them. North Carolina’s George Holding faced a now heavily Democratic district heading into 2020 thanks to a court-ordered redistricting plan, and rather than attempt to muster up some kind of support to keep him in Congress, he’s leaving. Holding’s retirement announcement brings the total of Republicans to a full two dozen who aren’t seeking re-election next year, which certainly undercuts the Republican claim that they’ll be able to muster enough support to become the House majority party.
In his statement announcing his resignation, Holding acknowledged that the recent redistricting weighed on his decision.
‘What I have learned about our government, our elections, and public life could fill a book. I have witnessed moments and met men and women who were inspiring, and I’ve also seen moments that were not so inspiring. But, at the end of the day, my faith in our country has been strengthened. No people on earth cherishes our freedoms like Americans.’
In an ironic twist, he probably counts the inauguration of Donald Trump among the inspiring moments that he’s witnessed, no matter the fact that Trump has marked his time in office by hurling outlandish insults at just about every opponent imaginable. Just recently, while at a NATO summit in London, he insisted that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was mentally deranged — which is an outrageous spectacle for a president of the United States to engage in, to say the least.
‘It has also been gratifying to work for the ideals that I, like many other Americans, believe in… I should add, candidly, that yes, the newly redrawn Congressional Districts were part of the reason that I have decided not to seek reelection. But, in addition, this is also a good time for me to step back and reflect on all that I have learned.’
Holding served as a U.S. Attorney before getting elected to Congress in 2012. His district is not the only one that the GOP lost after a North Carolina court demanded that state legislators make their districts more fair. In total, the number of reliably Democratic Congressional districts in the state spiked to five from the previous three. Other Republicans who’ve announced their retirements recently range from New York’s Peter King to Georgia’s Tom Graves to Texas’s Will Hurd.
Republicans are jumping ship ahead of what just might be an inescapably bad election year for Republicans. Despite their continued insistence to the contrary, about one in two Americans actively support the impeachment inquiry, and Trump continues to come up desperately short when pitted against leading Democratic presidential candidates in prospective general election match-up polls. Neither the numbers, nor facts, nor the basic reality of the situation are on the president and his supporters’ side — and Democrats already have yet another impeachment hearing scheduled for next week.