Conservative North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows, one of Donald Trump’s biggest cheerleaders in the House, will not run for reelection next year, he said Thursday.
“After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I’m announcing that my time serving Western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term,” Meadows said in a statement.
A founder of the House Freedom Caucus and a regular thorn in the side of the Establishment GOP, Meadows becomes the 21st House Republican to announce his retirement ahead of next year’s elections. Unlike his retiring colleagues though, Meadows is not being driven from office because of dim reelection chances or an aversion to Trumpism. As he told Politico, Meadows believes he could win a fifth term, even with North Carolina’s new congressional map.
And his love for Trump is stronger than ever. In fact, he may not even finish his current term if the right job in the Trump administration becomes available.
“At this point, I plan to serve the people of western North Carolina until it’s decided that I can best serve the president and the American people in a different capacity,” Meadows told Politico when asked about the possibility of leaving office early. “And so while there’s no immediate plans, there’s certainly discussions that have occurred and potentially could occur in the future.”
Last year, Meadows was floated as a possible successor to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. In a statement at the time, then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “The president told him we need him in Congress so he can continue the great work he is doing there.”