- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) - The current longest-serving Republican in the North Carolina General Assembly won’t seek re-election this year, saying he wants to do some other things after more than 30 years in the legislature.

Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba, announced his decision on Monday’s first day of candidate filing for the 2014 elections. Allran is currently in his 17th legislative term. He spent 14 of those terms in the Senate.

“It’s been a wonderful experience serving the people, and choosing not to run again has been a difficult decision to make,” Allran, 62, said in a release. “But after talking it over with my family, we have decided after 34 years it is time to make a change.”

Allran, a Hickory attorney, is co-chairman of a Senate judiciary committee and has served for many years on the state’s Child Fatality Task Force. He said he’s most proud of co-sponsoring legislation that helped lead to graduated driver’s licenses for young people. He said he also worked to raise the drinking age to 21 and increase prison time for someone convicted of shooting into occupied vehicles on a public road.

“I’ve always been true to my conservative convictions - social as well as fiscal. I’ve always stood for balancing the budget and protecting families,” said Allran, who was first elected to the House in 1980. He moved to the Senate in late 1986 to fill a vacancy.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Catawba, said Allran has had a well-deserved reputation for outstanding constituent service.

“There are no members with more valuable institutional knowledge than Sen. Allran, and I join my colleagues - and his constituents - in thanking him for many years of dedicated service,” Berger said in a release.

Allran’s 42nd Senate District covers all of Alexander and Catawba counties.

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