Democrat Jim Matheson Announces Retirement (Updated)

Matheson is retiring. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:00 p.m. | Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, announced on Facebook Tuesday afternoon that he "will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives."

This essentially takes his seat — the heavily Republican 4th District — out of play for Democrats.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, a top GOP recruit, came within a few hundred votes of defeating him in 2012. She promptly announced her rematch in early 2013.

Matheson is the first House Democrat of the cycle to announce his retirement, without seeking higher office, per Roll Call's Casualty List.

This is a pervasively Republican district, but Matheson was able to hold onto it through the 2010 Republican wave and after redistricting.

Through the onslaught, the Blue Dog proved to be one of the most enviable brands in politics.

So much so, that in an interview earlier this year, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden expressed frustration with Matheson and other Democrats who are able to hold districts carried by the last three GOP presidential nominees.

Walden called Matheson and the others "The Slippery Seven."

Likewise, Roll Call profiled Matheson last summer as one of the House's "White Whales."