Longtime Republican to retire from House
November 7th, 2013
02:37 PM ET
9 months ago

Longtime Republican to retire from House

(CNN) – Longtime Republican Rep. Howard Coble of North Carolina announced Thursday he plans to retire at the end of his term rather than seek re-election next year.

The 15-term Congressman announced his decision at a press conference in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Coble, 82, represents North Carolina's 6th Congressional District, a reliably Republican seat.

Before Coble made his announcement, nonpartisan political handicappers Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook both rated the district as solid or safe for the GOP.

George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney each easily carried the district by double digits in the past three presidential elections.

Praises poured in Thursday for the Congressman, who was first elected in 1984.

"Known in the House as the 'Sharp Pencil' due to his commitment to reigning in spending, cutting government waste and bringing commonsense policies to the floor, Howard's dedication to our country has left a lasting legacy," Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee said in a statement.

Walden added he was "confident" voters will keep the district in Republican hands.

Fellow North Carolina Rep. David Price, a Democrat, offered kind praise for his colleague on the other side of the aisle, saying Coble "reminds us of a time when our politics were less hard-edged."

"Always ready with a kind word for everyone–from fellow representatives to capitol police to constituents–it's difficult to walk anywhere with Howard in Washington, D.C. or North Carolina without being stopped several times because he has so many friends who want to chat with him," Price said in a statement.

"I have always especially enjoyed introducing my staff to Howard," he continued. "His first question being what high school they attended, and his second question being, 'what's it like working for this scallywag?'"

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attempted to frame Coble's upcoming departure as "jumping ship."

"Barely a day goes by without another Republican jumping ship from Speaker John Boehner's disastrous Republican Congress – because House Republicans aren't giving up their reckless behavior and focusing on the right priorities like creating jobs," the group said in a statement.

Before his tenure in Congress, Coble served in the U.S. Coast Guard and worked as an Assistant U.S. attorney in North Carolina. He also served as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Revenue, and practiced law at a firm in Greensboro.

– CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • House • North Carolina
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. just saying

    82 years old and 15 terms? yeah time to leave and enjoy the last few years of your life. can't you democrats get all the old democrat farts out of there as well? having these people leave when they die is not preferable.

    November 7, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Boomer in Mo

    reining in spending: refers to horse reins used to guide the horse. Reigning is what a king does. Do some editing.

    November 7, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    I sure hope the people of this district are ready for a real change so ready that they'll choose someone other than a T-Publican to represent their best interests. NC needs a total political makeover starting with the governor but its always good news anytime a T-Publican LEAVES especially one this old.

    November 7, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Who wants to bet that transfat is going to be outlawed? Now that the govt has their hands in our healthcare just wait for that to happen.

    Freedom of choice is becoming more and more narrow."

    Yeah, the gov't clearly has no business regulating or, in some cases, banning substances scientifically proven to dangerous etc. If I want to sell motor oil mil shakes to children and stick them in colorful cups with fun cartoon characters on them to convince them to drink up, maybe with a side of cyanide fries and asbestos nuggets, then I should certainly be allowed to do so. Freedumb, fark yeah.

    November 7, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    One after another Rethuglican exits, good news for the nation.

    November 7, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. just saying

    Sniffit
    -–
    "Who wants to bet that transfat is going to be outlawed? Now that the govt has their hands in our healthcare just wait for that to happen.
    --
    Freedom of choice is becoming more and more narrow."

    Yeah, the gov't clearly has no business regulating or, in some cases, banning substances scientifically proven to dangerous etc. If I want to sell motor oil mil shakes to children and stick them in colorful cups with fun cartoon characters on them to convince them to drink up, maybe with a side of cyanide fries and asbestos nuggets, then I should certainly be allowed to do so. Freedumb, fark yeah.
    --–

    and yet you advocate to legalize all drugs right? how many die each year from drug overdoses? how many lives are ruined? how many families are destroyed? and yet you advocate to legalize all drugs right?

    November 7, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. tom l

    @Sniffit
    "Yeah, the gov't clearly has no business regulating or, in some cases, banning substances scientifically proven to dangerous etc. If I want to sell motor oil mil shakes to children and stick them in colorful cups with fun cartoon characters on them to convince them to drink up, maybe with a side of cyanide fries and asbestos nuggets, then I should certainly be allowed to do so. Freedumb, fark yeah."

    What a stupid comment. If you want to eat food with transfat then you should be able to. Are you trying to equate "transfat" with "cyanide"? Why don't they just ban everything that's bad for you? If I drink too much soda, then isn't that bad for me? If I eat too many fritos, should they ban that too? Man, why do you look to the govt for every answer. What a pathetic life. The ACA and the govt in healthcare. Hello Pandoras box.

    By the way, the more I think about it, the more I really am starting to think that you are one of those paid trolls that you claim all the conservatives on here are. Or, maybe I should call you a paid sockpuppet. You promote all things democrat and even encourage people to call the healthcare line and give out the number and everyhting. Who does that?

    November 7, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    82 years old and 15 terms? yeah time to leave and enjoy the last few years of your life. can't you democrats get all the old democrat farts out of there as well? having these people leave when they die is not preferable.
    *************
    And we've just discovered yet another demographic just sayin hates: old white GOP legislators with manners.

    November 7, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Thomas

    This is good he was to moderate , we need more younger fascist far right leaning log cabin republicans .

    Rick Perry 2016

    November 7, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. simplyput

    @Gurgyl

    You DO know that the only goal unmet as of now on the Communist agenda is the destruction of one of the political parties in this country, right comrad?

    November 7, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. just saying

    The Real Tom Paine
    -just saying
    82 years old and 15 terms? yeah time to leave and enjoy the last few years of your life. can't you democrats get all the old democrat farts out of there as well? having these people leave when they die is not preferable.
    *************
    And we've just discovered yet another demographic just sayin hates: old white GOP legislators with manners.
    -–

    wow, a lefty pretending to care about manners! that's a new one!!

    i do not like career politcians. 20 years would have been more than enough time in office. 20 years or 75 years of age, then hit the road and give somebody else a chance.

    November 7, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    @simplyput, you mean sending people to needless wars? Giving Tax evasions to super rich? Foreign contracts, Halliburton money? Depending on Saudi oil to loot the nation? Guns and corruption from NRA? Which one comrade? Do not talk idiotic. Just shut up.

    November 7, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "and yet you advocate to legalize all drugs right?"

    Nope. Try again. Just weed. And note the word "scientific" in what I said. There are also substantive differences in whether someone ends up consuming trans-fats versus whether someone ends up consuming pot. Pots not pervasively used by food manufacturers as a cheap alternative to better choices, trans-fats are very difficult to avoid, etc., whereas nobody has to consume pot that doesn't want to.

    November 7, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "You DO know that the only goal unmet as of now on the Communist agenda is the destruction of one of the political parties in this country, right comrad?"

    Oh yes, clearly...funny how the GOP/Teatrolls are achieving it by suicide though, isn't it?

    November 7, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    LOL – - A 15 Termer, huh ? LOL – well, North Carolina, that's what you Voted for......Imagine That !!

    To be perfectly honest, I don't blame him for "getting out of it" ......I would also....Remember, once you get elected to Congress, ( and even when, or if you retire) ( or get defeated, by another) You will have a life time of very good Insurance , and the perks such as the "golden parachutes" when they leave office, it's amazing....

    Truth be known, Obama is "wishing" he only had a few months left, before he leaves office. He most likely cannot wait til he "gets out of it" also, so he can ride into the sunset, with millions....(maybe not cash, but in other ways)

    November 7, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "By the way, the more I think about it, the more I really am starting to think that you are one of those paid trolls that you claim all the conservatives on here are. Or, maybe I should call you a paid sockpuppet. You promote all things democrat and even encourage people to call the healthcare line and give out the number and everyhting. Who does that?"

    Yawn. Yeah, god forbid someone argue in an effective manner by providing people with information. And go learn what sockpuppet means, you're using it wrong. FAIL.

    November 7, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Its astonishing. A simple piece about the retirement of a long-serving legislaor, and everyone turns on each other with comments that have not got a damn thing to do with this thread. When CNN shuts down comments on a thread, we really ought to make an effort to end the conversation. I know I'm as guilty as asnyone for doing this, but for God's sake, what does transfat have to do with this, or the supposed Communist agenda of one of the parties?

    November 7, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    There we go , another opening for a dem in the house , and the GOP tea slugs think their going to keep the house????anybody hooked up with the teaslug traitors with their 24 billion dallar loss to our economy will be in the unemployment line after the 2014 midterms , I can't wait to vote AGAINEST ALL of the GOP trash on the ballot in Florida !!!!!!

    November 7, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. anonymous

    simplyput
    You DO know that the only goal unmet as of now on the Communist agenda is the destruction of one of the political parties in this country, right comrad?
    -–

    Absolutely correct. The enemy is inside the perimeter. And in terms of immigration, they are cutting the wires to let more in. Democrats = Traitors.

    November 7, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    @just saying: "82 years old and 15 terms? yeah time to leave and enjoy the last few years of your life. can't you democrats get all the old democrat farts out of there as well? having these people leave when they die is not preferable."

    You got a problem with representative democracy? If people want to elect a rep or senator who's elderly, that's their business – right?

    November 7, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @simplyput: "Gurgyl You DO know that the only goal unmet as of now on the Communist agenda is the destruction of one of the political parties in this country, right comrad?"

    So you're blaming Dems for the implosion of the repubs/tea bags? You guys ever take responsibility for ANYTHING?

    November 7, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Mikey

    @Thomas- "This is good he was to moderate , we need more younger fascist far right leaning log cabin republicans .

    Rick Perry 2016"
    *****************************************************************
    Too funny. Did you know that the "Log Cabin Republicans" is the gay Republican organization?

    Can I assume your post was sarcasm?
    -------------------–

    @simplyput – "You DO know that the only goal unmet as of now on the Communist agenda is the destruction of one of the political parties in this country, right comrad?"

    Do I have to wear a tin foil hat to get that message directly? Too funny... just too funny.

    November 7, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. The Elephant in The Room

    Democrats should wake up and smell the fire. Republicans believe in preferences [in the form of gerry-mandered redistricing] to allow a lifetime's worth of GOP stranglehold on as many Congressional seats as possible. I truly hope that the President pulls out ALL the stops for the 2014 election including using OFA to drive women & minority voter turnout into PRESIDENTIAL election levels. Then, regardless of the strength of a Democratic majority in the Senate, use 51 votes to fill EVERY Federal judgeship qwith the most liberal judge immaginable.

    November 7, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. don in albuquerque

    @simplyput–Believe that happened a couple of weeks ago with the Whigs. Get current or get lost. Or just shout Benghazzzzzzzzzzi!!!!!!!! The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Ol' Yeller

    simplyput

    @Gurgyl

    "You DO know that the only goal unmet as of now on the Communist agenda is the destruction of one of the political parties in this country, right comrad?"

    So, it is your contention the te abagge ers are commiunists? After all, they are the only group I am aware of who are actively trying to destroy a political party... I'm just glad it is the republicants.
    That kind of fits though, two sitting Tea Bag Senators with confessed ties to one of the only two communist regimes left on the planet. You may on to something here... Senior Senor' Cruz proudly admits to have fought for Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries. He's already helped topple one country for communism, only natural to keep going- the Domino Theory, right?

    November 7, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |