N.C. Rep. Charles Jeter of Mecklenburg County announced Monday that he is resigning.
“This has been one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life,” Jeter, a two-term representative, said in a statement. “I love serving the people of North Carolina and I know today’s announcement will be letting my Republican colleagues down in a very tough election year fight. However, I simply cannot continue down a road that in the end forces me to make my wife and children anything less than the first priority in my life.”
Jeter said he plans to remain involved, but that “the titles of husband and father are much greater and I must devote the time to my young family while I still have that opportunity.”
The members of the Mecklenburg County Republican executive committee who live in his district will decide both who fills the seat for the remainder of the term and who appears on the ballot this fall in two separate votes, said Gerry Cohen, former director of bill drafting for the General Assembly.
If there was no indication that Jeter had resigned before then, then his name will stay on the ballot. If he wins the election, then Gov. Pat McCrory, a fellow Republican, would nominate someone to the seat until the next election.
Jeter’s district stretches down the Catawba River from Huntersville to Lake Wylie
Earlier this year, Jeter co-sponsored a bill that would have killed the controversial Interstate 77 toll lane project, but that proposal died in the N.C. Senate.
In March, Jeter defeated retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Davis of the Mountain Island Lake area in the Republican primary.
Davis criticized Jeter for being among legislators “who all bought into” the toll concept. “And they still bought into it until Danny Phillips cleared out the Huntersville town board,” he said.
Phillips is an incumbent Huntersville commissioner who opposes the project and was the top vote-getter in the November general election. Two other commissioners and Mayor Jill Swain lost their seats in an election that Phillips and others saw as a referendum on the toll lanes project.
Jeter had faced Democrat Chaz Beasley in the November general election.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this incorrectly described the process for replacing Jeter.