State Treasurer Janet Cowell will not seek re-election in 2016. The former Raleigh City Council member was first elected to the statewide post in 2008. She is the first woman to serve in the position.
Cowell was re-elected in 2012 and recently said she would seek a third term. But, in an email to supporters Tuesday morning the Democrat announced a change of plans.
"After a lot of careful deliberation, I have decided not to seek another term as Treasurer or any other elective office in 2016," Cowell said in her note to supporters. "This has been one of the more difficult decisions in my life. I've prayed about it and discussed it with friends and family. I intend to serve out my term through 2016."
Stating she will not run for another elective office next year rules out a run against Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr. She is considered a strong Democrat and was seen as a viable challenger to Burr. Cowell had previously stated she would not enter that race.
During her seven years in office Cowell has overseen the state retirement and pension fund. Following the recession that fund grew from $60 billion to $90 billion.
"As Treasurer, I stepped up to oversee and reform the State Health Plan to make sure that teachers and state employees have access to a solid health benefit. I also established two innovation funds of almost a half billion dollars to invest in North Carolina-centered companies. I feel confident that the Department of State Treasurer is much stronger today than it was in 2009," she added in her email.
Her decision creates an open seat on the Council of State. The filing period for candidates begins on December 1st.