By Jesse Wood
On Friday, N.C. Sen. Dan Soucek announced his immediate resignation, N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger announced in a release:
Sen. Dan Soucek (R-Watauga) notified Gov. Pat McCrory of his decision to retire from the North Carolina Senate effective today.
Below is a statement from Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham):
“Sen. Dan Soucek has made it his life’s work to help others – by improving public education as a member of the North Carolina Senate, by defending our freedoms as a member of our Armed Forces and by aiding those in poverty through his many years of charitable work,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham.) “His retirement will be a big loss for the Senate, the people of his district and the State of North Carolina.”
This announcement comes a few months after Soucek said he would be retiring from the N.C. Senate after the general election.
In December, Soucek rescinded his filing to re-run for office. Through Berger’s office at the time, Soucek announced that he wouldn’t be seeking another term to represent the citizens of the northwestern part of the state.
“As Christmas approaches and I reflect on the past year, I realize there were more than 180 nights this year when I was not home to kiss my wonderful wife and three children goodnight,” Soucek said in December. “It has been a great and humbling honor to be trusted by the citizens of Northwestern North Carolina to represent them in the state Senate, but I can’t continue to faithfully serve both my family and constituents.”
Soucek has endorsed Deanna Ballard, also a Blowing Rock conservative employed by Samaritan’s Purse, as his successor. Ballard defeated soon-to-be retiring Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute president Ken Boham in the Republican primary.
In the general election in November, Ballard will face Democrat Sue Counts.
The News & Observer reported that Gov. Pat McCrory will formally appoint a replacement after a nomination from Republican leaders in Soucek’s district. The legislative session begins in two weeks.