WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Thom Goolsby has resigned from the North Carolina Senate.
In a letter written to Gov. Pat McCrory, Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican, said it's been "the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of New Hanover County in the North Carolina Senate."
Goolsby had already made the decision not to run again.
Goolsby told WWAY that he wants "Michael Lee to have a running start." Lee, a fellow Republican, is running for Goolsby's seat. Lee's Democratic opponent Elizabeth Redenbaugh responded to Goolsby's resignation Monday evening.
"With Thom Goolsby's resignation from the Senate today, Wilmington voters can begin to turn the page on a reckless agenda that repeatedly picked the wealthy and special interests over our students, teachers and middle class families," Redenbaugh said in a statement. "Our campaign isn't about Thom Goolsby. It is about the voters and changing the priorities in Raleigh. There is no doubt that Michael Lee will only continue to neglect our teachers and students, our clean air, water and land and our local economy, just as his Republican friends have done. I plan to move Wilmington and our state forward by treating all North Carolinians with the dignity, value and respect we deserve. I'm confident that voters are ready for a real change this November."
The executive committee of the New Hanover County Republican Party will have to choose someone to serve out the rest of Goolsby's term, which expires in January.
Earlier this year Goolsby and his business partner were told by the North Carolina Secretary of State's office to stop their work as investment advisers after their practice came under investigation for defrauding investors. Goolsby still plans to continue practicing law in the Port City.