Raleigh, N.C. — Rep. Jim Fulghum, R-Wake, has withdrawn from his state Senate campaign due to illness.
"It is with great regret that I must withdraw from my campaign for N.C. Senate District 15 due to ongoing treatment for cancer, effective immediately," Fulghum wrote in a letter to the county and state boards of elections dated July 3.
Fulghum is serving his first term in the state House but is running to replace Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, who did not seek re-election after five terms in the state Senate. Hunt had said he wanted to leave, but only after finding a replacement he had full confidence in.
"Dr. Jim Fulghum has agreed to step up and run for my seat. When he agreed, I decided I would not run," Hunt said in February.
During the House floor session Thursday, Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, inquired if there was any news about his Wake County colleague.
House Speaker Thom Tillis replied that Fulghum "is ill, and I would ask you to keep him in your prayers."
Fulghum is a retired neurosurgeon first elected in 2012. He handily won his Republican primary against Apryl Major in May. Fulghum was due to face off in the November general election against Democrat Tom Bradshaw, a former Raleigh mayor and former state transportation secretary.
A group of senior Wake County Republicans will choose Fulghum 's replacement to run against Bradshaw.