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U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection, another blow to Democrats seeking to retain a House majority next year and win what is expected to be North Carolina’s closest congressional race. Butterfield, 74, a former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, has represented several rural counties in northeastern North Carolina since 2004, often winning by comfortable margins. But redistricting by state Republicans places him in a toss-up district with a smaller share of Black voters who were likelier to gravitate to his campaign.

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