Democratic House Minority Whip Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, is dropping out of the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, opting instead to run for a sixth term in the state House.
Several months ago, Glazier announced he would challenge incumbent Democrat June Atkinson in the May primary.
“When I was encouraged to run State Superintendent, I was comfortable with my decision, knowing that Leader Joe Hackney and the remaining House Democrats would face the challenges of the 2012 elections," Glazier wrote in a news release sent out just after noon today.
"That has changed. Approximately 30 House members, both Republican and Democrat, have decided to withdraw, retire or seek a different office. Consequently, in the last few days, many of my colleagues and a number of political leaders in the State have strongly urged me to reconsider my run for State Superintendent, and instead, remain in the House."
"While I still have a keen interest in serving as State Superintendent," Glazier added, "now is the time to re-build Democratic strength in the House of Representatives. It has never been more important for Democrats to unite, to fight, and to regain the majority."
Glazier's withdrawal leaves Atkinson without a primary challenger.
Several Republicans are vying to face Atkinson in November: Wake School Board member John Tedesco, teacher Ray Martin, former state Rep. Mark Crawford, and former teacher Richard Alexander. Union School Board member David Scholl has said he's also running, but hasn't yet filed his paperwork.