Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D., N.H.) announced Friday that she will not seek reelection at the end of her term, putting a key Democratic seat into an open race in 2018.
New Hampshire's first congressional district has changed hands repeatedly in recent years and is one of the closest swing districts in the country, CNN reported. Donald Trump won the district in the 2016 presidential election after Barack Obama won it in 2012.
Shea-Porter released a statement saying that she wanted to step away from politics to focus on her family.
"I felt the tug of family at our reunion on Independence Day, and I have continued to feel it," Shea-Porter said in her statement.
She expressed confidence in the Democratic Party’s position, saying "the 2018 election is shaping up to be like 2006," when she and other Democrats entered Congress in a wave. She said 2006 was an "important time when Congress changed political leadership and was able to move America forward."
Shea-Porter's Democratic colleagues echoed those sentiments in their statements about her decision not to run again. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s communications director, Meredith Kelly, stated she had "no doubt" Democrats would retain the House seat, taking a shot at former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in the process.
"There is no doubt that Democrats will hold this seat, and we look forward to competing against whomever Steve Bannon nominates," Kelly said, referring to Bannon's involvement in Republican primary fights.
Shea-Porter took the seat from Republican Frank Guinta in the 2016 election, and the two of them had traded victories in the previous three elections following Shea-Porter's two terms that started with her election in 2006. To win back the House of Representatives, Democrats will have to gain 24 seats, and Shea-Porter's departure complicates that picture. Republicans have already said they expect to win back the district.
"This was already a top pickup opportunity even before Rep. Shea-Porter's announcement, and we are confident we will turn this district red once again," said Matt Gorman, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
State Sen. Andy Sanborn and former area police chief Eddie Edwards have already entered the race as Republicans. No Democrats have emerged yet with a bid to replace Shea-Porter.