State Sen. Pete Brunstetter announced Thursday he will not seek the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Kay Hagan.
The Winston-Salem Republican's announcement comes days after Senate leader Phil Berger decided against a bid. It could mean the Republican field is set but some GOP operatives still see room for a vibrant challenge from the party's right wing.
In a statement, Brunstetter did not go into detail about his reasoning, saying the "task must fall to someone else."
"The Republican nominee will have my full support in the general election," he said in a statement. "Meanwhile, I will remain focused on the many critical issues facing the state of North Carolina as I continue my work in the NC Senate."