North Carolina's longest-serving state senator won't seek re-election next year as he faces potential criminal charges over a shooting at his home in August.
Sen. R.C. Soles said in a statement Wednesday he won't seek a 22nd consecutive term. He was first elected to the General Assembly in 1968.
State prosecutors announced this month 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.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)