U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler announced this afternoon that will not seek reelection.
The Waynesville Democrat said the decision was not easy, but he said he wants to refocus his priorities on his wife and two children.
"I have always said family comes first, and I never intended to be a career politician."
"Last week I spent a lot of time at home with my family discussing the possibility of running for governor of North Carolina. This time of reflection and prayer gave us the opportunity to talk about the best course of action for us as a family moving forward. It was during this time that I reached the decision not to seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012."
Shuler represented the 11th Congressional District for five years. He face a tough reelection after N.C. Republicans redrew his congressional district to include more Republicans and less Democrats.
His name had surfaced as a potential candidate for N.C. governor. He announced earlier this week that he would not join the race.