Top Trump ally in Congress not running for reelection

National/World News

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, one of President Donald Trump’s most visible allies on Capitol Hill, is not seeking reelection in 2020, he announced in a statement Thursday.

“After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I’m announcing that my time serving Western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term,” Meadows said in a statement.

The North Carolina Republican was first elected to Congress in 2012 and has since played a major role in shaping the House GOP over the last few years, including as the former chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. A source familiar told CNN that the timing of Meadows’ announcement was driven by the North Carolina candidate filing deadline, which is Friday.

In his statement, Meadows said his work “with President Trump and his administration is only beginning.”

Meadows is open to a role in the Trump administration, but nothing has been finalized, the source told CNN, adding that he had been thinking about not seeking reelection for awhile.

Last year, Meadows was considered for the role of White House chief of staff, but the “President told him we need him in Congress so he can continue the great work he is doing there,” then-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Lately, conversations about his role in Trump world have turned to something closer to the President’s campaign, sources told CNN.

While the top job in the West Wing hasn’t been ruled out, Meadows has expressed an interest privately in playing a role in the President’s reelection effort, two people say. Ultimately the decision will be up to Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

Meadow’s decision not to run for reelection was first reported by Politico.

Meadows’ decision to step away from Congress makes him the 21st House Republican to announce they won’t run for reelection in 2020.

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