Under the Dome

Stein leaves NC Senate seat to focus on attorney general campaign

Senator Josh Stein of Wake County, center, listens to Senator Jerry W. Tillman of Archdale, N.C. during debate of HB 1050, Omnibus Tax Law Changes, in the North Carolina State Senate on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Raleigh.
Senator Josh Stein of Wake County, center, listens to Senator Jerry W. Tillman of Archdale, N.C. during debate of HB 1050, Omnibus Tax Law Changes, in the North Carolina State Senate on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Raleigh. rwillett@newsobserver.com

N.C. Sen. Josh Stein announced his resignation from the Senate on Monday, saying he would concentrate on his campaign for state attorney general in the November election.

His resignation clears the way for the Wake County Democratic Party to select as his successor Jay Chaudhuri, who has won the party’s nomination to run for Stein’s seat in November.

Stein is running against state Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson for attorney general. Stein and Chaudhuri are both Raleigh residents, and both have worked under state Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is running for governor.

Stein announced his resignation from Senate District 16 in a series of tweets Monday morning:

“Today, I announce my resignation from the NC Senate with deep gratitude to the people of SD16 for granting me the honor of serving them.

“I take my responsibility as Dem nominee for AG seriously & am running to win. Serving as AG is best way I can contribute to NC’s future.

“I do not want my time-consuming campaign for NC Attorney General to detract from quality of representation people of SD16 deserve.

“The WCDP Exec Comm will soon select my replacement in time for the short session. I’m confident they will choose a powerful voice.”

“Over the past seven years, few people have worked harder on behalf of North Carolina families than Senator Josh Stein,” Wake County Democratic Party Chair Brian Fitzsimmons said in a news release. “He has been a tireless advocate for public schools in Wake County and across North Carolina, and has consistently worked with members of both parties to do what is right for the people of Wake County.

“North Carolina is stronger because people like Senator Stein decide to serve. While his voice will be missed in the Senate, we look forward to him bringing his unmatched commitment to equality and fairness to his role as our next Attorney General.”

The executive committee of the county party will meet Saturday just before its annual convention, where members who live in District 16 will vote on a recommended replacement. The governor gives final approval but goes along with the party’s nomination.

The Senate district is strongly Democratic. Eric Weaver is running as the Republican candidate. Weaver is a former police chief and real estate agent, who ran unsuccessfully for state House in 2008.

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