Representative Joe Tolson of Edgecombe County has announced he is pulling out of the race for North Carolina House Speaker. Tolson announced Tuesday morning that he didn't believe he could assemble enough votes to win the nomination when House Democrats meet Wednesday night. Tolson also says he would throw his support to Joe Hackney of Orange County, the majority leader for the past two years. There are four other candidates. The winner will replace current House Speaker Jim Black, who announced earlier this month he would not seek the nomination again. Black is still facing a federal investigation into allegations of illegal campaign contributions.
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