U.S. Representative Mike McIntyre retires after nine terms, focuses on his future

McIntyre didn’t say what the future will hold, but one thing is certain — he will always be a Tar Heel.

McIntyre graduated from the University in 1978 as a Morehead scholar with a degree in political science. He went on to graduate from UNC law school in 1981.

He still remembers watching UNC football games on crisp Saturday afternoons and riding his bike to class. He wore a Carolina blue tie in his Congressional “mugshot.”

McIntyre, a Democrat, has served the House in the seventh district since 1996. The district covers a large portion of southeastern North Carolina, including much of the city of Wilmington.

Republican David Rouzer, who lost to McIntyre by a slim margin in the 2012 election, will try again to win the seat this year.

“Rep. McIntyre and I probably agree 100 percent on the social issues,” he said. “Our differences are primarily on the economic side of things.”

Woody White and Chris Andrade will compete against Rouzer in the Republican primary on May 6. Jonathan Barfield, Jr. is the only nominee from the Democratic Party.

Barfield said bipartisan legislation will be one of his focal points if elected.

“When you die, there won’t be Republicans or Democrats,” he said. “As an elected official, you take an oath to represent all the citizens of your county and all the citizens of your district.”

The seventh district was redistricted in 2010, removing areas where McIntryre received support — including his hometown of Lumberton.

McIntryre won in the redrawn district in 2012, but it was closer than ever.

The redestricting contributed to his decision not to seek a 10th term, he said.

McIntyre was a key figure in protecting the state’s beaches near Wilmington and promoting veterans’ rights.

“I’d say he’s just an incredible guy of integrity,” said Dr. Mark Miller, who has known McIntyre since their first year at UNC. “He’s just an all-around good guy.”

McIntyre said his retirement will provide a new chapter for him and his family.

From his term, he is particularly proud of his work with the Congressional Prayer Caucus , a group of bipartisan representatives that come together after the first vote of each week to pray for the United States, McIntyre said.

“The Prayer Caucus is at least one place where the polarization of Congress has not affected our ability to come together and simply pray together for wisdom for our nation and its leaders,” he said in an email.

He also served as a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of conservative Democrats whose goal is to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats.

“When you let the will of the people act as a guiding compass, as our founders intended, you choose people over politics, and you put the issues over ideologies,” he said.

Those close to McIntyre say they expect him to continue contributing to the state.

“I think that he’s just transitioning, and I think that he’s going to do great things for the state of North Carolina,” Miller said. “I’ve yet to see what it’s going to be, but I’m sure it’s going to be some incredibly good things.”

state@dailytarheel.com

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