State News

Embattled Soles won't run again

Posted December 30, 2009 11:28 a.m. EST
Updated December 30, 2009 11:47 a.m. EST

— North Carolina's longest-serving state senator said Wednesday that he won't seek re-election next year as he faces potential criminal charges over a shooting at his Tabor City home in August.

Sen. R.C. Soles, D-Columbus, said in a statement he plans to retire at the end of his term in 2010 and wouldn't seek a 22nd consecutive term. He was first elected to the General Assembly in 1968.

"I plan to serve out the remainder of my term with the vigor and diligence my constituents deserve, and I will continue to practice law. Public service is a noble calling, and I have tried to live up to the ideals of a true leader," he said in the statement.

State prosecutors announced this month that they plan to seek an assault charge against Soles after a grand jury found probable cause he acted criminally when he shot a former law client.

Soles made no reference to the case in his statement.

Soles is the latest powerful Democrat leaving the Senate.

Outgoing Majority Leader Tony Rand is to resign Thursday to head the parole commission. Finance Committee co-chairman David Hoyle also won't seek re-election.