Raleigh, N.C. — State Sen. Tommy Tucker announced Thursday that he won't seek re-election, wrapping up his Senate career next year after four terms, partly so he can watch his grandchildren play T-ball.
Tucker, R-Union, also said in an emailed statement that he has long believed in term limits and that, after eight years in the General Assembly, it's time "for me to allow others to step in and serve."
Tucker was elected in 2010, when a Republican wave brought in a GOP majority for the first time in more than a century. Since then, budget holes have been filled and taxes cut, Tucker noted in his statement. The state's economy has grown out of the Great Recession, teacher pay has increased and, "I leave confident knowing we have put policies in place that will keep North Carolina moving forward well into the distant future," Tucker said.
The senator likened his retirement to 2000, when he stepped away from a seat on the Union County Board of Commissioners to spend time with his son and daughter.
"I would not trade that time for anything in the world," Tucker said. "Now, my children have children of their own. Next year, my grandsons will begin T-ball. I know of no greater undertaking than that of playing a central role in their lives. They are only young once.”
Tucker's district leans heavily Republican. He hasn't been challenged in a general election since 2010, when he won 71 percent of the vote.