President Obama is praising North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue after her announcement that she won't seek re-election in 2012, calling her a barrier breaker during more than 25 years in elected office.
Obama released a statement Thursday congratulating her for her historic tenure as North Carolina's first female governor and lieutenant governor and wishing her and her family well.
The president said the fellow Democrat has worked to improve the state's public schools and health care and to create jobs in emerging fields and for the military.
Perdue said Thursday she wouldn't run for a second four-year term as governor to try to avoid politicizing her efforts to improve public education while tangling with the Republican-led Legislature.