State Sen. Robert Pittenger has resigned from the General Assembly to focus on his bid to become North Carolina's lieutenant governor.
The Charlotte Republican said Tuesday he told Gov. Mike Easley in a letter that he would step down from his 39th District seat.
Pittenger is in his third term in the Senate. He won the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor in the May 6 primary.
Republican leaders in his district will choose Pittenger's replacement to serve out the remainder of the term, through the end of the year. It's likely to be former Sen. Bob Rucho, who won the Republican primary to succeed Pittenger next year.
Pittenger will take on another senator -- Democrat Walter Dalton of Rutherford County -- in the general election. Dalton has no plans to resign.