Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County Republican state Sen. Neal Hunt won't be seeking re-election this year. He announced Monday that he's stepping down at the end of his current term.
Hunt, 71, has served five two-year terms in the Senate. Prior to his election in 2004, he served on the Raleigh City Council.
"I'm an old geezer," Hunt joked to WRAL News, "and it’s time to step down and let someone young do it."
Hunt said he is endorsing Rep. Jim Fulghum, a Raleigh Republican and physician currently serving in his first term in the state House.
"I've been thinking about [retiring] for some time," Hunt explained. "I was interested in finding somebody I could endorse for my position. I found somebody. Dr. Jim Fulghum has agreed to step up and run for my seat. When he agreed, I decided I would not run."
Fulghum confirmed Monday he has withdrawn his filing for House 49 and re-filed instead for Hunt's Senate District 15 seat.
Fulghum's change leaves a vacancy on the ticket in his current north Raleigh district. One Republican has already filed for that House seat.
Gary Pendleton, a financial planner and benefits consultant who previously served on the Wake County Board of Commissioners. He also chaired the county's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in 2006. Pendleton filed for House 49 Monday.
No word yet whether Fulghum's 2012 primary challenger, former state Rep. Russell Capps, will run again.