NC Senate leader Phil Berger not running for US Senate - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

NC Senate leader Phil Berger not running for US Senate

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EDEN, N.C. -

Senate leader Phil Berger announced Monday that he will seek re-election to the North Carolina Senate and not join the race to unseat U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

By forgoing a run for U.S. Senate, Berger avoids getting involved in a crowded GOP field for the chance to face off against Kay Hagan, the likely Democratic candidate and incumbent, in November.

At least four Republicans have already announced their intentions to run for the GOP nomination for Senate in May. House Speaker Thom Tillis may have the most name recognition among the current field.

Berger released a statement that said in part, "over the past several months, I've heard from numerous people across North Carolina asking me to declare my candidacy for the United States Senate. I am humbled and grateful for the kind words of encouragement."

Berger said in his statement that he "understand[s] that one of the most important political tasks...is to replace Kay Hagan...[whose] tenure in Washington has been a disappointment in countless ways."

"However, after careful consideration and consultation with family, friends and supporters, I have decided now is not the time for me to undertake such a campaign," he said in his statement.

Berger also said in his statement the he is "proud of what our Republican Senate majority has accomplished over the past three legislative sessions, and there is still much more for us to do in the North Carolina Senate."

Berger ended the statement saying that the way he can help North Carolinians the most is in his position in the state Senate as the representative of the people of Guilford and Rockingham counties.

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