Raleigh, N.C. — Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg, is resigning from the North Carolina House and withdrawing from his re-election bid.
The Huntersville Republican announced the moves via news release after speaking with members of the legislative leadership Monday morning.
"This has been one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make in my life," Jeter said. "I love serving the people of North Carolina, and I know today’s announcement will be letting my Republican colleagues down in a very tough election year fight. However, I simply cannot continue down a road that in the end forces me to make my wife and children anything less than the first priority in my life."
Jeter said he plans to "stay involved" but needs to "focus on my most pressing priority, my family." He added, "While life is full of many difficult challenges, it is also short. The titles of husband and father are much greater, and I must devote the time to my young family while I still have that opportunity."
He is the president of Intermodal FCL Inc., a trucking company based in Charlotte area.
As conference chairman, Jeter was responsible for helping to marshal resources to elect Republicans to the state House. It was a position the House GOP split off from the majority leader's role under former state House Speaker Thom Tillis.
Jeter has a reputation as a relatively centrist Republican who was less interested in push social issues than many of his colleagues. Along with Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, and Rep. Gary Pendleton, R-Wake, he was one of three House Republicans who did not attend the March special session to create what became House Bill 2.
He faced a pair of tough elections this year. Already, Jeter squeaked through his primary by 35 votes in March after being challenged from his political right. His general election was shaping up to be a tough one as well, with many voters in suburban districts like his restless over measures like House Bill 2 and education funding.
Jeter's resignation from the state House will have little direct impact this year as lawmakers have wrapped up their work for 2016 barring a gubernatorial veto or emergency session. However, Republicans will have to pick someone to run in his place on the November ballot. Early by-mail ballots will be sent out on Sept. 9.