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North Carolina Democrat David Price to retire after more than 30 years in Congress

In this Sept. 6, 2012 file photo, Rep. David Price, D-N.C. addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
J. Scott Applewhite
In this Sept. 6, 2012 file photo, Rep. David Price, D-N.C. addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District is soon going to have a new representative in Washington, D.C., for the first time since 1997.

Rep. David Price announced Monday — first in an interview with WRAL, and then in a statement — that he will retire when his term expires at the end of 2022. Price, a Democrat, represented the 4th District from 1987 to 1995, and every year since 1997.

"While it is time for me to retire, it is no time to flag in our efforts to secure a 'more perfect union' and to protect and expand our democracy," Price said in a statement. "I am deeply grateful to the people of the Fourth District for making my service possible and for what we have been able to achieve together. And I promise, in the fifteen months remaining and beyond, to continue fighting for the just and inclusive country we believe in.”

Price told WRAL that he's committed to helping pass a national budget before he leaves office.

Price’s retirement announcement comes at a time when North Carolina’s General Assembly is redrawing district lines. The 4th District – which includes Durham, Orange, Franklin, Granville, and Orange counties, and parts of Wake, Chatham and Vance counties – has typically been a Democratic stronghold.

According to the News & Observer, state Sen. Wiley Nickel is announcing a campaign for Price’s seat. A Democrat from Cary, Nickel is a lawyer and a former staffer in the Obama White House. Nickel told the N&O that he’s already raised more than $253,000.

The 81-year-old Price is currently North Carolina’s most senior representative in Congress, with more than 30 combined years on Capitol Hill. Fellow Democrat George “G.K.” Butterfield Jr. of the 1st District is the second-longest serving congressman in the state, having held office since 2004.

Price has served on the House Appropriations Committee, and subcommittees for Homeland Security and the Legislative Branch. He is also the chairman of the House subcommittee for Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. Price is also the co-chair of the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

In a Tweet, Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said of Price: “It's been a pleasure to serve alongside David Price and to work closely with him on a bipartisan basis on issues ranging from disaster recovery funding to economic development and infrastructure improvements. I wish Congressman Price and his family all the best on his retirement.”

A former chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Price’s record in Congress includes the "Stand by Your Ad" provision, calling for changes in election laws, pushing the NCAA for more transparency, and fighting against gun violence. He was also an opponent of the Iraq War. Additionally, Price has been closely involved in national security and transportation issues during his tenure.

Price, a native of Tennessee, has lived in Chapel Hill since 1972 and holds degrees from Mars Hill University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Yale. Price has also taught at Duke and wrote a textbook on Congress.

WUNC's Will Michaels contributed to this report.

Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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