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Rep. Charles Jeter Resigns, Ends Re-Election Run

Charles Jeter

Updated 6:22 p.m.
State representative Charles Jeter is stepping down and calling off his run for re-election this November. In a surprise announcement Monday morning, the Huntersville Republican says he needs to make his wife and children "the first priority in my life" right now.  

Jeter didn't want to be interviewed, but said in a statement it was "one of the toughest decisions he's ever had to make.” 

In a post on Facebook, his wife Jennifer Cox Jeter said: "Charles loved being in office, which made this decision even harder for him. He is resigning to spend more time with his family."

She said four years in Raleigh had taken him away from the family, affected his health and business.  Jeter runs a logistic company. 

It will be up to county Republican leaders to replace Jeter on the ballot. Jeter barely defeated Republican challenger Tom Davis in a March primary.

Davis told WFAE he is interested in filling Jeter's slot on the ballot. He told the party's county executive committee he'd like to be considered.

Davis lost to Jeter by just 35 votes in the primary. 

The primary campaign became a battle over the NCDOT's plan for toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte. Davis said Jeter didn't do enough to stop the project, which has sparked an anti-toll movement in the Lake Norman area. 

Jeter later filed a bill to cancel the contract. It passed the House, but didn't get out of a Senate committee.

On Monday afternoon, Republicans in north Mecklenburg were lining up behind Davis. County Commissioner Jim Puckett said he and Huntersville town commissioner Danny Phillips are supporting Davis. 

“Tom has tremendous name recognition and in my opinion with the team he already has on the ground is the best opportunity for the GOP to keep this seat,” Puckett said. 

Davis is a retired Air Force officer who lives near Mountain Island Lake. 

Whoever runs will face Democrat Chaz Beasley in the 92nd District, which stretches from Huntersville to Lake Wylie on Mecklenburg County's west side. 

It's not clear if Jeter's decision is related to legal troubles. WCNC-TV reported July 8 that Jeter is facing a lawsuit over an unpaid bill related to his logistics business.