Sen. Bill Cook not seeking re-election after redistricting changes

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) - A GOP state senator from Eastern Carolina says he is retiring after changes put him in a Democratic-leaning district.

Sen. Bill Cook, who has served three terms in the Senate and one term in the House, says he will not seek re-election next year.

The Republican represents District 1, which is made up of Beaufort, Hyde, Dare, Currituck, Camden, Gates, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.

The 72-year-old Cook says recent redistricting changes prompted him to reevaluate his commitment to his family.

"And as much as I love the folks of Eastern North Carolina, I love my family more," said Cook in a statement. "I have decided to not seek another term in the State Senate. I am blessed to have a wonderful family and I need to spend more of my life with them – especially my grandchildren."

The new maps have moved Beaufort County into a district with Martin, Bertie, Northampton and Warren counties. Democrat Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram currently represents most of that area.