Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves Not Seeking Re-election Due to Redistricting Issues

Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves Not Seeking Re-election Due to Redistricting Issues

Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves said on Friday that he would not seek re-election following the Supreme Court’s recent decision on redistricting.

In announcing his decision, the Republican congressman highlighted redistricting and stated, “Running for Congress this year does not make sense.”

“It is evident that a run in any temporary district will cause actual permanent damage to Louisiana’s great representation in Congress,” he said in a statement confirmed by his office to NBC News. “Campaigning in any of these districts now is not fair to any of the Louisianians who will inevitably be tossed into yet another district next year.”

Graves, who was first elected to Congress in 2014, was overwhelmingly reelected in 2022 in a district that includes parts of southern Louisiana near Baton Rouge and New Orleans. However, court challenges over redistricting called his 2024 hopes into question.

The Supreme Court ruled in May that the state may utilize a congressional design that included a second majority-Black district. The redistricting plan would change the boundaries of existing districts, including the one Graves represents.

The verdict came after civil rights groups and Republican state leaders filed emergency pleas with the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that would have overturned the congressional map with two majority-Black districts, potentially benefiting Democrats this year.

Graves’ announcement represents a fast reversal. As recently as last month, the 52-year-old congressman insisted on running for re-election, expressing confidence that his district would remain intact.

“Look, the region where I reside, where I was born and reared, is a community with shared interests. “You can’t break it up,” Graves told NBC News on May 7, days before the Supreme Court’s decision. “We will continue to represent it.”

Graves, who sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural Resources Committees, has had a spectacular career in Congress.

Last year, he moved from a little-known backbencher to one of Capitol Hill’s most influential actors practically overnight, when then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tasked him with assembling a coalition to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a worldwide financial disaster.

McCarthy’s confidence in Graves paid off when the bill was enacted and signed into law by President Joe Biden. It gained Graves the reputation of a pragmatist in a caucus full of agitators.

However, that significant coalition was short-lived, as conservatives ousted McCarthy from the speakership months later. Graves has now been forced out of his district by his own party.

McCarthy complimented Graves on Friday, saying in a statement shared with X that his absence “will be a major loss for the conference and the entire House.”

McCarthy went on to say that he “never would have been elected Speaker without” Graves.

“I will always consider myself lucky to have served with such a loyal friend,” wrote the soldier.

A number of House members have announced that they will not seek re-election this year. Graves is the 25th House Republican to announce that they would not run for reelection, either because they are retiring or seeking another position. Democrats have an equal number of House members not running for re-election in November.

Source: foxnews.com

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