Sen. Neal Hunt of Raleigh had filed for re-election earlier this month but said he withdrew his candidacy papers Monday morning.
RALEIGH, N.C. -
One of the North
Carolina Senate's top budget writers reversed his decision to seek a
sixth term Monday after convincing a first-term House Republican to run
for the post.
Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, and co-chairman of the
Senate Appropriations Committee, had filed earlier this month to run for
re-election but said he withdrew his candidacy papers Monday morning at
the Wake County elections board.
Hunt said he had been looking
for someone to run for his seat and decided to drop out when state Rep.
Jim Fulghum, R-Wake, agreed to compete in the 15th Senate District.
Fulghum, a retired neurosurgeon, switched his candidacy Monday from
House to Senate.
Fulghum said he's enjoyed going to work in the
House but listened to Hunt's request. "I felt like I could carry the
ball on the Senate side," he said.
Hunt said that after 20 years in government, including time on the Raleigh City Council, it was time for him to step aside.
one of three budget co-chairmen since 2011, Hunt has been intensely
involved in spending decisions as Republicans controlled the General
Assembly and eliminated a shortfall — moves GOP leaders say helped put
the state on firming fiscal footing.
"I've been doing this for a long time," said Hunt, a real estate investor. "I'm 71. I think we've accomplished a lot."
said he's been proud of his involvement with legislation approved in
2006 requiring school districts to set daily time in school for students
to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He also introduced a resolution in
2011 that ultimately led the Senate to vote to pardon Reconstruction-era
Gov. William Holden, who was removed from office in 1870 for wrongdoing
related to his efforts to stop Ku Klux Klan violence.
successful small business owner, Neal never forgot what helps our state
attract job creators — lower taxes, less government red tape, and smart
fiscal policies," Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a
Another budget co-chairman — Sen. Pete Brunstetter,
R-Forsyth — resigned from the Senate in December to become a hospital
Former Wake County Commissioner Gary Pendleton, a
Republican, and Democrat Kim Hanchette have entered the race for
Fulghum's 49th House District seat.