Rep. Carol Shea-Porter Says She Will Not Seek Re-election
ROCHESTER — Rep. Carol Shea-Porter announced Friday that she will not seek re-election in 2018.
In a statement, Shea-Porter thanked the people of New Hampshire for electing her 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," she said. "And I have worked each day with only one thought — to serve our state and our nation."
Shea-Porter said the time has come for her to "pause and decide on a different path" in life, which is why she will leave the House of Representatives in January 2019, at the end of her current term.
She said the decision was difficult because of how much she has enjoyed serving the people of the Granite State and because of the current political climate.
"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," she said. "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."
Shea-Porter said her family would support any decision that she made and she thanked them for all their love and support over the years.
Shea-Porter also thanked her staff and her committed supporters who share her vision for America's government.
"I have been blessed ... 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," she said.
Shea-Porter said she first won election in 2006 without any paid staffers because of her supporters hard work. She also thanked Republican and Independent voters for their confidence and said she listened to their concerns as well.
"Coming from a Republican family," she said. "I know that we need to hear each other, even if we don’t always agree on policy."
Shea-Porter said she looks forward to seeing the House change political leadership again and produce legislation that helps all Americans move forward, with both parties working together. She said she would do her part to make bipartisanship happen while also continuing to advocate in Congress for the people of New Hampshire until January 2019.
Eddie Edwards, Republican candidate for Congress in NH’s Congressional District 1, sent well wishes to Shea-Porter, but noted the importance of change.
"I wish Representative Shea-Porter well in her future endeavors. My wife Cindy and I send the best to her and her family," Edwards said. "It has become even more apparent to me as I travel across this district that the voters are hungry for something other than just another politician."
Republican Senator and another Congressional District 1 candidate Andy Sanborn thanked Shea-Porter for her years of service, despite their differences.
"While we had differences of opinion about the future of our country," Sanborn said, "There is no doubt that in her years of service she always did what she thought was best for the people of New Hampshire.”
The N.H. Democratic Party released a statement that said Shea-Porter served the state with "great distinction."
"Your unflinching devotion to the '99% of the rest of us' for over a decade has been a clear call for reform & progress," N.H.D.P. Chair Ray Buckley said. "New Hampshire is proud and honored to have you represent us in Washington and your presence will be dearly missed after 2018."