Greg Flynn caught this first, but I'm posting it as a whole entry because it really is cause for celebration. Here's the story.
Embattled state House Speaker Jim Black said Tuesday night he will not seek another term as speaker, ending an eight-year tenure as the top official in the state House.
"I've been speaker for four terms," Black told The Associated Press. "This is, again, not about me. I don't have any need for me to be speaker forever."
Black said he has no plans now to step aside from his Mecklenburg County legislative seat, and dismissed the suggestion he decided against seeking another term as speaker because he is worried about a possible federal indictment. For more than a year, a federal grand jury has looked into the Democrat's campaign finances and his connections to the lottery and video poker industries.
"I have no more reason to think today that I'll be indicted than I did a year ago," Black said.
Black, 71, announced his decision after having dinner with about 25 House Democrats at a Raleigh restaurant. He said their focus in next year's legislative session should be on the issues facing the state, such as education and mental health — and not who is leading the party. Black added he plans to be involved in choosing his successor, a decision he doesn't expect House Democrats to make until January.