State Sen. Rick Horner, R-Wilson, has announced that he will not be running for re-election in 2020.

In a statement, Horner said he is planning to sit out the next election. However, he doesn’t necessarily plan to sit out forever, he told the Telegram.

“I have been blessed with an incredible opportunity to serve the citizens of Nash, Johnston and Wilson counties in the Senate,” Horner said in his statement. “Unfortunately, District 11 has changed shape three times in three elections and the 2020 Census is certain to bring yet another change. Much to my regret, it is simply not in the best interest of my family to seek re-election in 2020.”

In a telephone interview on Monday, Horner told the Telegram that he hopes to run for office again in future years.

“With all of the current upheaval of the districts, I feel that it would be better to sit this election out,” Horner said. “After the next census, when the districts are more stabilized, I hope to be able to run again.”

Horner said he feels that he has served his district and the state well so far and plans to continue that work over the next 13 months of his current term.

“During my entire political career, I have tried to be both responsible to our taxpayers as well as a strong advocate for public education. I’m satisfied my record in the North Carolina Senate reflects that commitment, and I will continue to work in the coming year, free from political distractions, on this important work for our state,” Horner said in his statement.

Mark Edwards, chairman of the Nash County Republican Party, said he appreciates the work Horner has done.

“Sen. Horner can retire from his service in the (state) Senate with the full and complete satisfaction of knowing he made a real difference in the lives of the citizens of this state,” Edwards said. “Sen. Horner jealously guarded the taxpayers’ money while he was in Raleigh. But at the same time, he pushed hard for spending when it was needed, such as raises for our teachers and state employees.”

Edwards said Horner has served the citizens of Nash County both on the school board and the state Senate.

“There is no way to measure the positive influence he had on those two institutions, but there is no doubt it was significant,” Edwards said. “He deserves every bit of praise he will get when he leaves the (state) Senate in January 2021. In the meantime, the Nash County Republican Party is proud to have played a part in sending him there.”

Horner said he is looking eagerly ahead to see what happens in North Carolina.

“The future of North Carolina has never been brighter,” Horner said in his statement. “I want to thank everyone for their trust and support that has allowed me to serve our great state.”