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GOP Rep. Mark Meadows to leave Congress


The North Carolina Republican says his 'work with President Trump and his administration is only beginning'

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election, saying in a statement that his decision to retire from Congress was one he "struggled with greatly."

Meadows, a steadfast supporter of President Donald Trump, also says he might leave office before the end of his term in order to take a position helping the president in another capacity.

What are the details?

"After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I'm announcing that my time serving Western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term," Meadows wrote in his retirement announcement. "This was a decision I struggled with greatly."

The congressman went on to write, "My work with President Trump and his administration is only beginning. ... I've always said Congress is a temporary job, but the fight to return Washington, D.C., to its rightful owner, We The People, has only just begun."

Politico reported that Meadows "could leave the House in the middle of this term to begin a new, yet presently undefined role helping Trump." Meadows's term ends in January of 2021.

"Probably the hardest thing for me was the timing of this, because the president has accomplished so much." Meadows told Politico Playbook on Wednesday.

"I'm not only an ally, but will continue to be an ally," Meadows said. "And we've had discussion on how we can work more closely together in the future and I felt like filing and then potentially resigning at some point in the future would not serve my constituents in North Carolina best."

Anything else?

The News & Observer out of Raleigh reported that two Republicans have already announced they would run in the GOP primary to replace Meadows.

Businesswoman Lynda Bennett, vice chair of the Haywood County Republican Party, is one of them. She told the newspaper, "I think quite a few candidates had wondered [about Meadows' retirement], since he had not filed so late. I may not be the only (Republican) to file, actually."

Five-term state Sen. Jim Davis, an orthodontist by trade, also announced his plans to run for Meadows' seat.

"Congressman Mark Meadows' retirement is a huge blow to Western North Carolina and movement conservatives all across our state and country," Davis said in a statement. "I know I can't fill Mark's shoes but my experience in the State Senate shows I will stand with President Trump and fight for Western North Carolina's conservative values."

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