North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue calls her decision not to seek re-election this year the "most selfless decision that I've ever made."
The Democrat says she also believes her pending fight on education spending is the biggest one she's ever faced.
Perdue made her first public comments Saturday night about her announcement two days earlier not to seek a second term. She spoke in Greensboro, where she is to give a speech to several hundred Democrats at a fundraising dinner later in the evening.
The state's first female governor told reporters she cares more deeply about children and education than any election and didn't want her recent proposal to raise sales taxes to become a wedge in a re-election campaign.
Perdue likely faced a tough rematch with former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican.