Read Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s statement on deciding not to run for re-election

U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter speaks with supporters in Manchester in September 2016.
U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter speaks with supporters in Manchester in September 2016. –Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe

Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, of New Hampshire, announced Friday morning that she will not seek a fifth term in office.

The 64-year-old was first elected in 2006 and has swapped the 1st Congressional District seat with Republican Frank Guinta multiple times.

Read Shea-Porter’s full statement below.

“To the Good People of New Hampshire, the Greatest State in America,

Thank you so much for electing me to Congress for four terms. You gave me the great honor of representing our state and being the first woman ever to be elected to federal office from New Hampshire, and the first Democrat to represent New Hampshire’s First District in 22 years, and I have worked each day with only one thought—to serve our state and our nation. But the time has come in my life to pause and decide on a different path, so I am announcing my intention to leave the House of Representatives in January 2019, when my present term ends.

This has been a very difficult decision, given how much I have enjoyed serving [the people of New Hampshire] in the House and the fact that the 2018 election is shaping up to be like 2006, when I was first elected, an important time when Congress changed political leadership and was able to move America forward. While I certainly would enjoy being part of that, I felt the tug of family at our reunion on Independence Day, and I have continued to feel it. My family has said repeatedly that they would support any decision I made, and I am grateful to them for that and for all of their love and support through the years.

I have been blessed with an amazing staff who love New Hampshire’s people as much as I do, and with a very large contingent of wonderful committed supporters who share a vision of an America with government that believes in honest and open elections, creates opportunity for all, supports local business and grows the economy while it cares for its young, its old, and its most vulnerable citizens, and believes in good stewardship of our Earth and its resources. I first won in 2006 without a single paid staffer because of their hard work. I also thank Republican and Independent voters for their confidence, and I have listened to their concerns as well. Coming from a Republican family, I know that we need to hear each other, even if we don’t always agree on policy.

I have great faith in our ability to overcome challenges and to come together again, and I will continue to speak out. As Granny D, New Hampshire’s champion for campaign finance reform, said, ‘democracy is not something we have, it’s something we do.’ And as I always add, it will go away if we don’t “do” democracy by engaging on the issues and voting. I am greatly encouraged by the heightened civic engagement I am seeing.

I look forward to seeing the House change political leadership again and produce legislation that helps all Americans move forward, with both parties working together, and I will do my part to make that happen. I will also continue to advocate in Congress for the people of New Hampshire until January 2019. Thank you again for the great privilege of representing you.”

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