Democrats are hoping to maintain their Congressional majority. However, recent retirements and departures are making that a diminishing possibility.
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) said he will retire at the end of his term, the Washington Examiner reported. The announcement was made Thursday and further imperils Democrats’ hope for holding onto a majority in the 2022 midterm elections.
Congressional redistricting has put Butterfield at a disadvantage, though the lines are still tied up in legal disputes. The 74-year-old lawmaker called the map “partisan” and accused it of being “racially gerrymandered” to unfairly exclude black voters.
Butterfield further commented that it was a “difficult” decision for him to step down. He thanked voters for affording him “one of the greatest privileges for which I will be forever grateful.”
Democrats only enjoy a 221-213 majority in the House of Representatives, according to ABC News. The electoral beating Democrats took on Election Day earlier this month has triggered a fresh round of retirements in an already depleting field.
The most notable win was for GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin who triumphed over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Virginia which had recently turned deep blue. Youngkin won handily, and it seemed to signal the rest of the party that further carnage is to come.
Republicans have been buoyed by this win and see the mass exodus of other Democrats as a hopeful sign. “Every Democrat retirement expands the Republican battlefield and demoralizes House Democrats even further,” Michael McAdams, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told ABC News.
Still, the Democratic Party continues ever leftward even as voters have demonstrated how unpalatable their policies are through these losses. The 2022 midterms are shaping up to be quite a Republican boon — and many Democrats are simply retiring so they don’t have to face the same of it.