Rep. G. K. Butterfield will leave the House of Representatives earlier than expected to take a new position as a lobbyist, the Daily Caller reported. The North Carolina Democrat previously announced his retirement would come when the new Congress is sworn in.
"I’m beginning a new job tomorrow," Butterfield announced Friday. "It’s another phase of my professional life, so I’m looking forward to it," he added.
"It will be a slower pace," he said. Butterfield is leaving days before the 118th Congress is scheduled to convene.
Redistricting left Butterfield's position in peril, and the long-time lawmaker chose not to run for re-election in the midterms. Instead, he announced his retirement in November 2021.
"It is time for me to retire, and allow the torch to be passed to someone who shares the values of the district, and continue the work I have labored so hard for the past 18 years," Butterfield said, according to Fox News. He had strong words for the redrawn voting map that put his Democrat stronghold back into play for the GOP.
"The map that was recently enacted by the legislature is a partisan map," Butterfield claimed. "It’s racially gerrymandered," he claimed.
"It will disadvantage African American communities all across the First Congressional District. I am disappointed, terribly disappointed with the Republican majority legislature for again gerrymandering our state’s congressional districts and putting their party politics over the best interests of North Carolinians," Butterfield chided.
Race is a particularly important issue for Butterfield, who served on the Congressional Black Caucus. "Tonight, we celebrated the retirement of our dear friend and colleague @GKButterfield known to us and so many as the honorary Historian of the CBC," the official CBC Twitter account said of his retirement.
"We celebrate you and your legacy, Congressman and we look forward to what’s ahead! Truly a gentleman and a scholar," the tweet said.
The North Carolina Supreme Court eventually struck down the new map that Butterfield objected to, the Associated Press reported. The map was redrawn, and the district remained Democratic following the midterms.
For the last 18 years, Butterfield had served as representative for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Now that he's moved on, Butterfield was tight-lipped about which law firm he be working for as a lobbyist, the Epoch Times reported.
Lawmakers must wait one year after leaving Congress to lobby lawmakers there for obvious reasons. However, Butterfield was able to skirt the waiting period by working with the executive branch.
"I will be a senior advisor there," Butterfield said of his new firm. "There will be dozens of associates in the firm, and many of them are engaged in lobbying and so I will give them advice and counsel on effective lobbying both at the federal and state level," he added.
Although technically within the limits of the law, there is something untoward about lawmakers parlaying their public service for lucrative lobbying careers. Butterfield's new job will be less pressure, but the aim will be the same -- bilking taxpayers out of their money.