A thank you to the retiring Rep. Myrick (R-NC9) – PLUS: Rep. Watt also retiring?

Congresswoman Sue Myrick announced her retirement today in a video message to supporters. The AP via local Charlotte news station WCNC has the details:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte says she won’t run again for re-election to North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

Myrick made the announcement Tuesday through Facebook and her campaign site with a brief video. She said she made the decision after thoughtful discussion with her family and plans to serve out her ninth two-year term through the end of the year.

“After thoughtful discussion with my family, I have decided not to run for another term in Congress,” Myrick said. “I’m grateful for the privilege of serving you. We have all been blessed by staff members who truly care and delight in helping to solve problems for everyone in the district.”

The 70-year-old Myrick is a former Charlotte mayor and previous U.S. Senate candidate who joined Congress in the Republican sweep during the 1994 elections. She has been in a relatively safe Republican district that this fall will cover portions of Union, Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

Here’s the video of her announcement:

Myrick is 70. No doubt she’s ready to leave the limelight and enjoy time with her husband, kids, and grandkids. I hope she writes a book one day.

I’m sure there will be some people in District 9 and elsewhere who will say it’s been beyond time for her to retire from Congress considering she pledged back during her first term to be a one-term representative, but whatever. I think she as one of the more staunchly conservative members of Congress has done a fantastic job in Washington, DC – not without controversy – representing the interests of the people in her district, and she will be missed greatly. Her years of dependable service have stronly influenced my argument against mandatory term limits. Yours truly was fortunate enough to interview her a while back when I was in the talk radio biz. A very gracious, down to earth lady. I wish Rep. Myrick well in her future endeavors and would like to thank her for her commitment to both to her country and her district.

Mecklenburg County Commissioner and former Meck County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph is expected to announce tomorrow that he will run to replace Myrick.

Incidentally, one of Myrick’s sons – Dan Forest – is running for Lt. Governor. You can learn more about him here.

In related news, Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC12) may be considering retirement as well this year, according to COXTV’s Scott MacFarlane:

More N. Carolina drama looming? Rep Mel Watt says he’s not decided whether he’ll run for re-election. Still judging impact of redistricting

Mel Watt and Sue Myrick have HUGE seniority, influence in House. To lose *both* Reps in 2013 would cost Charlotte-area big power in DC

Watt, as I’m sure you know, represents one of the most bizarrely drawn districts in the country – the infamous District 12, drawn specifically so that black Democrats in this state could have a lock on black liberal representation in that district in Congress for as long as they wanted to:

NC-12 - via NationalAtlas.gov

I’m not getting my hopes up. Even with the disputed redistricting (pre-approved in November by the US DOJ) that has taken place here recently courtesy of the GOP-controlled state legislature (map here), his district is probably still “safe” because it will be more “African-American” – hence, more liberal. And because of that, even if Watt does retire, another Democrat will take his place.

Blue Dog Democrat Heath Shuler (NC-11) announced his retirement from Congress a few days ago, contributing to the rapid decline of the “conservative Democrat” influence in the US House. Shuler gave brief consideration to a run for the Governor’s chair, which is being vacated this year by Bev Perdue, but decided against it. Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC-13) announced his retirement from Congress a couple of weeks ago. Both he and Shuler cited the redrawn Congressional maps as a big reasons why they were stepping down.

Fun times in NC on the political front. Will be interesting to see how things shake out come November.

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