Embattled state House Speaker Jim Black
said Tuesday night that he won't seek another term as speaker.
That ends an eight-year tenure as the top official in the state
House for Black, who has faced months of legal and ethical scrutiny
tied to his campaign finances and the state lottery.
Black tells The Associated Press that the decision not to run
for speaker isn't about him and that he wanted to take the focus
off himself and return it to the issues that legislators will face
when they reconvene in January.
Black narrowly beat Republican challenger Hal Jordan to hang
onto his House seat in Mecklenburg County. He says he has no plans
to give up that seat.
Black said he decided about a week ago not to run for a record
fifth term but needed to talk with fellow Democrats before going
public. He made the announcement after having dinner with
about 25 House Democrats at a Raleigh restaurant.