Editor's note: The following is Rep. Joe Hackney's words on his retirement according to a press release.
I have decided that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the North Carolina House of Representatives this year.
At the end of this term, I look forward to a more predictable schedule for my family, my law practice, my family farm and for the recreational activities I've been missing.
I will serve out the remainder of my term with enthusiasm. As Minority Leader, I will work actively this year for a Democratic majority and a new Democratic Speaker for the NC House in 2013; I will continue to assist our candidates' campaigns and will actively raise money for them, as I have in the past.
I am very grateful to the voters of Chatham, Orange, (and more recently a small part of Moore) who gave me the high privilege of representing them in matters of public policy for 32 years; to the members of the House who elected me Speaker Pro Tem, Majority Leader, Speaker and Minority Leader; and to the legislators across America who elected me as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures. I enjoyed all of it immensely, and gave it my all. I think I made a contribution.
I have been fortunate to have the assistance of able and dedicated legislative staff throughout this time, and I do not have words sufficient to express how appreciative I am for their dedication to our State.
Betsy, Dan and Will have been unfailingly supportive, as have my law partners, and my brother Jack at the farm, and I thank them for their sacrifices.