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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The No. 2 leader in the North Carolina House wants to run for the No. 2 job in the executive branch.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Dale Folwell announced Tuesday he will seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor this year. An aide confirmed Folwell unveiled his plans at a news conference in his Winston-Salem, where he lives.

Folwell joins an already crowded GOP field with two other candidates who have been running for months – Raleigh architect Dan Forest and Wake County Commissioner Tony Gurley. Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is seeking re-election.

The 53-year-old Folwell ran briefly for the GOP nomination for state treasurer in 2008 before dropping out. The consultant and private investor announced last month he would not seek a fifth term in the Legislature.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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