Heath Shuler Not Running For Re-election

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Heath Shuler Not Running For Re-election

Post  Carolina Kat on Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:35 pm

U.S. Rep. Shuler not running for re-election

By Jim Morrill
Posted: Thursday, Feb. 02, 2012

Democratic U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler said this afternoon that he won't run for re-election in North Carolina's 11th District.

Shuler announced that he'll step down at the end of his third term. He had mulled a bid for governor in the wake of Gov. Bev Perdue's decision not to run.

"Last week I spent a lot of time at home with my family discussing the possibility of running for governor of North Carolina," he said in a statement. "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. ... This was not an easy decision. However, I am confident that it is the right decision."

Shuler, 40, is part of the so-called Blue Dog Coalition of conservative Democrats.

His district in western North Carolina was redrawn by Republican lawmakers this year. The new map took most of Asheville, a Democratic stronghold, out of the district, making it more friendly to Republicans.

Shuler's announcement was the third of the day by prominent Democrats taking themselves out of contention this year.

Erskine Bowles, a former University of North Carolina System president, declined to run for governor. And former House Speaker Joe Hackney of Chapel Hill said he wouldn't run after more than 30 years in the state House.

All that left Republicans giddy.

"It sounds like today the music may have died in the North Carolina Democratic headquarters," said state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes.

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