Two House Democrats — Carolyn McCarthy of New York and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina — plan to retire, according to a McIntyre statement and congressional aides.
McCarthy, 70, has served nine terms in the House. Originally a Republican, she is among the most ardent advocates of gun control in the House and was inspired to run for Congress after the GOP congressman representing the suburban Long Island seat voted to repeal a 1994 law banning so-called assault weapons ban. Her husband Dennis was killed and her son Kevin seriously injured in a 1993 mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad.
McCarthy, a longtime smoker, announced last June that she was undergoing treatment for lung cancer. In November she filed a lawsuit claiming exposure to asbestos as a young woman may have contributed to her disease.
McIntyre, 57, is one of the few remaining white Southern Democrats in the House and also has served for nine terms. He survived the Republican sweep in 2010 and redrawn congressional lines in 2012. His retirement gives the Republicans a strong chance of winning the seat. Deeply religious, McIntyre has frequently deviated from the Democratic line on issues such as repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law banning gay people from serving openly in the military and he voted in 2012 to repeal the so-called Obamacare health care law.
"In eastern North Carolina, we have demonstrated that public service is a partnership between the people and the representative," McIntyre said in a statement. "For us, this has been where the priorities of policy over politics, issues over ideology, dialogue over dollars, and cooperation over campaigning have prevailed."
The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the decisions ahead of formal announcements.