Republican state Rep. Ruth Samuelson of Mecklenburg County says she will not run for a fifth term.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Samuelson told her colleagues her decision in an email Tuesday night.
Samuelson says continuing her political career would take too much time away from other passions like philanthropy, faith and family. The 53-year-old Republican says she also plans to seek business opportunities.
Samuelson was getting a higher profile in her party. She was chosen to lead in floor debate on issues such as voter ID.
Samuelson's decision leaves a wide open race to replace House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is stepping aside to run for the U.S. Senate. Samuelson was expected to be a top contender to be the new Speaker.
Tillis is also from Mecklenburg County.