A statement from Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake):
"Next year will mark my ninth legislative session since I started as an intern in the Minority Leader's office. Since 2009, it's been an honor to serve the state in so many roles - intern, staffer and legislator. And it's been a privilege to be part of North Carolina's political transformation and our resurgence as the best state in the country.
For my wife Paige and I, the legislature has also been such an important and integral part of our lives. It's where we met, and where we've developed lasting friendships with people who feel like family. But we knew when I ran for the State Senate six years ago that serving in elected office might not be something we could do for the long haul. A higher priority has always been growing and nurturing our family, and since 2012 we've added three beautiful children. As my legislative responsibilities grew over the past five years, so did my responsibilities at home. I feel now is the right time for me to focus more on being a dad than a State Senator, and so I won't be running for re-election in 2018.
Serving the people of Wake and Franklin counties, especially at such a young age, has been a tremendous blessing. The relationships I've built with my constituents will last a lifetime, and the 18th district has been gracious to allow me to represent them and raise a young family at the same time. The Lord provided us with an amazing opportunity, and so many of you have helped in countless practical ways and with acts of kindness - watching our kids at events, working late nights on our campaigns, even writing tens of thousands of hand-written post cards. I'm proud of the ways we've come together to solve problems many didn't think we could solve - from securing the expansion of Highway 401, to bringing back Franklin County's hospital, to stopping a major interstate from disrupting communities in Southern Wake, to giving a voice to Eastern Wake County.
When Republicans won control of the General Assembly, I knew we had to govern on the issue of education. It's the reason I ran for the legislature. But I never imagined I would have the chance to help shape our renowned educational institutions as a chair of the Senate education policy and budget committees. I'm proud our reforms have done so much to expand opportunities for families, improve outcomes for students, and increase teacher salaries and preparedness.
Paige and I are grateful the Lord gave us this chance to serve. We hope to find other ways to help the state and community we love, and we look forward to what the future might bring."