Craven County state lawmaker not running for reelection in 2020

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) - A state lawmaker who made a bid for Congress earlier this year says he is not running for reelection next year.

Craven County Rep. Michael Speciale was first elected to the House in 2013.

In April, he finished fourth in a field of 17 Republicans wanting to replace Congressman Walter Jones who died earlier this year. Rep. Greg Murphy eventually won that seat and is being sworn in tonight.

"It is fitting that today, on Constitution Day, I publicly announce that I will not run for reelection. As a strong Constitutionalist, I believe that I did all the things that I said I would do, and a big part of that is that I stood strong for the Constitution and for the rights and liberties of North Carolina citizens. I believe that this is the time for me to look at other options in my life. I spent twenty years serving America in the United States Marine Corps, and then I spent the last twenty years dedicated to growing the Republican Party and working to make North Carolina a better place," Speciale said in a statement.

Speciale is chairman of the Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and vice-chairman of State and Local Government Committee.

He said even though he is retiring from the General Assembly, Speciale said he plans to remain involved in the political arena.