Miller Won't Challenge Price
Updated at 11:16 a.m.
Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., will retire rather than run against fellow North Carolina Democratic Rep. David Price in a new, merged district, he announced on Thursday morning.
"Because David has represented Wake County and I have represented none of Orange or Durham, I would be the underdog in a primary with David. I have begun campaigns in the past as the underdog, and campaigned with great energy, enthusiasm and joy," Miller said in a statement. "There would be no joy in this campaign."
Miller added that he does "not have an agreement with David to step aside now and run in two years when he retires, as has been widely rumored, nor have I tried to strike any deal. The reality is that if I sat out a term and returned to Congress, I would be starting over for most purposes."
Miller was first elected in 2002. North Carolina's Republican-controlled redistricting process put both Miller and Price in the same district, but Miller said Wednesday he didn't want to put the Democratic Party through a "divisive" primary.
An internal poll from the Price campaign showed Price 21 percentage points ahead of Miller in October. Miller and Price had taken light jabs at each other in the media. Miller had until Feb. 29 to officially file for the seat, but after speaking with supporters recently, Miller decided he couldn't got through with a primary against an old friend.
Miller played a strong role in drawing his current district as a member of the North Carolina state Senate, where he was chairman of the redistricting committee after the 2000 census. The new Democratic-leaning 4th District, in which Miller was contemplating a challenge to Price, reaches from Raleigh northwest to Durham and then takes a sharp turn south and snakes narrowly down to Fayetteville, its southern terminus. It cut away GOP-leaning areas of Miller's old constituency but also parts of his Wake County base, while leaving a little more of Price's old constituency intact.
"His decision today will avoid a divisive primary in the Fourth District if the unfair and illegal maps drawn by General Assembly Republicans are allowed to govern this election. I will continue to fight -- with Congressional and General Assembly colleagues -- to overturn them in court," Price said in a statement.