Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election, once again expanding the coming congressional exodus.
McHenry said he will finish out the remainder of his term. The Republican is a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and served as interim-speaker in the time between McCarthy’s ouster and the election of Speaker Mike Johnson.
“This is not a decision I come to lightly, but I believe there is a season for everything and—for me—this season has come to an end,” McHenry said in a statement.
“Past, present, and future, the House of Representatives is the center of our American republic. Through good and bad, during the highest of days and the lowest, and from proud to infamous times, the House is the venue for our nation’s disagreements bound up in our hopes for a better tomorrow. It is a truly special place and—as an American—my service here is undoubtedly my proudest.”
The North Carolina congressman, who has served since 2005, is the 37th member of Congress to announce they will not be seeking re-election in 2024.
There are seven senators and 30 representatives who plan to leave the legislature, leaving a slew of seats without incumbent protection in the upcoming election.
McHenry addressed this in his statement.
“There has been a great deal of handwringing and ink spilled about the future of this institution because some—like me—have decided to leave. Those concerns are exaggerated,” he said.
“I’ve seen a lot of change over twenty years. I truly feel this institution is on the verge of the next great turn. Whether its 1974, 1994, or 2010, we’ve seen the House evolve over time. Evolutions are often lumpy and disjointed but at each stage, new leaders emerge. There are many smart and capable members who remain, and others are on their way. I’m confident the House is in good hands.”
In the House, 20 of the departing legislators are Democrats, while 10 are Republicans. Despite that, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report projects five open House seats as possible Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP.
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