McIntyre retiring from Congress at end of term
 

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Rep. Mike McIntyre is retiring after nearly two decades in the US House of Representatives.

He said he made the decision after talking with his family during the holidays.

"We had thought about it off and on, and you always do. I mean every two years you have to gear up and prepare for a new election, and we've done that over and over and over nine times now," McIntyre told WWAY during a phone interview this afternoon from Washington. "But we just felt that we were ready, like I said, for a new chapter. Of course, sure, the landscape has changed, and there's a lot of polarization and unfortunately vindictiveness. We saw that with redistricting last time."

McIntyre had been a huge target of the Republican Party in recent years. The GOP frequently tried to align the Blue Dog Democrat with liberal House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Obama. McIntyre, though, maintained that he was a centrist not beholden to party lines.

In 2012, Democratic and Republican groups pumped millions of dollars into North Carolina to buy ad time in McIntyre's race against David Rouzer. The former state senator lost by just a few hundred votes to the then eight-time incumbent in the redrawn 7th Congressional District. Legislative Republicans, having regained control of the legislature for the first time in more than a century just in time to control legislative redistricting redrew the 7th District to stretch it north to Rouzer's Johnston County home while moving the district's western boundary to leave out McIntyre's home in Lumberton. McIntyre decided to run for the seat again anyway and won for a ninth time.

McIntyre said he is not running from a tough fight and that his decision had nothing to do with pressure from party leaders or the people who control money in Washington.

The move leaves New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield as the only Democrat who has declared his intentions for running for McIntyre's seat.

Rouzer also plans another run for the seat.

"I have genuine respect and appreciation for the work Congressman Mike McIntyre and his staff have done to help countless individuals across Southeastern North Carolina," Rouzer said in a statement this afternoon. "After falling just a handful of votes short in 2012, it is with great optimism that my supporters and I continue our mission to bring conservative leadership to Southeastern North Carolina."

New Hanover County Commission Chair Woody White said he will run against Rouzer in the Republican primary for the seat McIntyre has held since 1997. White had planned to officially announce his candidacy Monday, but went ahead after McIntyre announced his retirement.

The candidate filing period in North Carolina runs Feb. 10-28.

After his narrow victory two years ago, it was clear McIntyre would face another tough fight for his seat this year.

McIntyre once told WWAY he had been motivated to serve in office since visiting Washington as a young man and attending one of the House hearings on Watergate. Seeing the effects scandal was having on Washington, McIntyre said he believed he could serve the public the right way. He said today he believes he's done that. He also said he will leave Washington without regret.

"There's always challenges and always things that may have come out different than you thought, but we're very pleased with how well things went and how the record that we were able to accomplish and the difference that it's made in so many people's lives," McIntyre said.

McIntyre's departure from office could mean the district, anchored by Wilmington, would have a Port City resident as its representative for the first time since Alton Lennon stepped down in 1973 after 16 years in office.

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I'm glad to see McIntyre go.

Anyone but White- he brings nothing but shame to republicans with his lack of integrity and his vile campaign and political tactics. Anyone but this political thug!

Thanks for your service to the district Rep. McIntyre. Even though I did not always agree with you, I appreciate all that you did for the district. As for as your replacement, I could think of no lower quality candidates than Woody White or Pantano. Rozier or Barfield would be an interesting race and would result in better representation for the district.

I hope Brian Berger will run. I think he and his ideas are way too big for our local govt. He would do much better on the State and National level.

"I Like Mike" with his BIG CARDBOARD checks knew his number was up, the man has cost us enough, the only thing now is White, Rouzer or Barfield would not be the right person for the job, I personally still like Pantano, he has walked the walk, he has faced the enemy, and brought his "boy" home.

carry Big Cardboard Checks...like Mike? :)

Barfield, Rouzer or Woody White thus far as possibly being the only names in the pot !!?!

Come on, we have many fine and progressive leaders here that I hope will think about entering this race. As an Independent I would be happy to support someone with a progressive and balanced outlook for our future.

Garfield and Rouzer are way too much one side or the other and their partisan additues will not contribute to any constuctive dialogue. As far as Mr. White, I will have to check on his record more closely. Still, I know we have many fine individuals in our community that could provide a better offering than these three afore named men.

That had to change the distist around to get him elected last time. Now with what the Democrats have done with Obamacare he knew it wouldn't happen again

Unfortunately, you don't.

To be specific, you managed to get the gerrymandering thing 100 percent wrong. The GOP redefined the district the last time it was changed, not the Dems. To be even more specific, they redefined the district in such a crazily biased way I find it incomprehensible that you would be unaware of that.

"It's been an honor to serve Eastern NC in Congress . . ."

Sure. Yeah. Uh huh.

It's been a thrill for McIntyre to serve his own ego, his inflated and obnoxious ego.

I'm a Democrat, but McIntyre always impressed me as a slimy weasel, the kind of power-hungry man so common in our tarhell state's politics. I have been in his presence four times, and each time he emitted a greasy, sleazy persona.

Goodbye Mr. Politician, and thanks for nothing. I'm sure you'll find a "cause" to be a spokesman for, and thus, continue to feed your precious ego. (Take a look at his photo, and you'll see around his eyes how shallow the man is.)

The republican controlled state leg. re-drew his district to make it more conservative so McIntyre would lose. Get your facts straight.

Our district is so gerrymandered, there is no way a Democrat could carry it. McIntyre barely won last election, only because he was the incumbent. They've carved our district up to include rural areas and the beach communities, which are mainly elderly and white. Not included: inner-city Wilmington. Hmmmm.

Art Pope carved this state up with a scalpel when they drew up the re-districting maps in 2010. If you can't beat them fairly, change the rules (or maps).

Wake up, North Carolina. We are just pawns in a game.

The democrats, the ones who were in power for like years in NC...would have done and HAVE done the same thing...

I agree, that just goes to show you how stupid and misinformed many voters are today. God help us.