Heath Shuler won't seek re-election to House

Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., speaks about Democrats and Republicans sitting together during President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

February 2, 2012 2:25:36 PM PST
North Carolina Democrat Heath Shuler won't seek re-election to the House.

The former professional football player, a frequent critic of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, announced in a statement Thursday that he will not seek a fourth House term.

Shuler says he and his family have discussed his running for governor, but Shuler's statement does not reveal any decisions.  Shuler says he intends to spend more time with his wife and two young children.

Republicans in the North Carolina legislature redrew the state congressional lines, making Shuler's district more friendly to the GOP.

Shuler released the following statement: "Last week I spent a lot of time at home with my family discussing the possibility of running for governor of North Carolina. This time of reflection and prayer gave us the opportunity to talk about the best course of action for us as a family moving forward. It was during this time that I reached the decision not to seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.

"This was not an easy decision. However, I am confident that it is the right decision. It is a decision I have weighed heavily over the past few months. I have always said family comes first, and I never intended to be a career politician. I am ready to refocus my priorities and spend more time at home with my wife Nikol and two young children.

"I have experienced no greater honor than serving the people of North Carolina's 11th Congressional District over the past five years. I am proud of the work that my office has done to give Western North Carolina a voice in Congress and make life better for the people who entrusted me with the privilege of representing them in Washington. I am also proud of the work we have accomplished with the Blue Dog Coalition to put our country on a sound fiscal path and promote civility and common-sense solutions amid the divisive, highly-partisan political climate in Washington.

"Though my time in Congress will come to an end after this year, my work to move our state and country forward will not. Reducing our $15 trillion national debt and crafting bipartisan solutions to the many problems facing our nation remain my highest priorities. Leaving Congress will give me the opportunity to focus my time and energy on these initiatives without the constant demands of a re-election campaign.

"I am grateful for the many close friendships I have made with my colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. I thank the people of Western North Carolina for placing their faith and confidence in me as their elected representative. I thank my colleagues and mentors in Washington who have helped me along the way. Most of all, I want to thank Nikol, Navy, Island, my entire family, friends, supporters, and staff, without whom my career in Congress would not have been possible.  May God bless you all and continue to bless Western North Carolina."

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | See Click Fix
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Load Comments