Hampton Dellinger, who lost a bid for lieutenant governor in 2008, has decided not to try again this year.
"I have decided not to seek elective office this year, and wish all those who are running the safest of travels as they sprint across my home county of Durham and the rest of our great state,” said Dellinger in a statement.
Dellinger, an attorney with the firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, is a well-known figure in Democratic circles and also provides political commentary on TV and radio programming.
He worked as an attorney for Mike Easley, when he served as attorney general and governor. He was considered by the Obama administration for the pot of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District.
He is the son of Walter Dellinger, the law professor and former acting solicitor general of the U.S.