- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A state House member who has championed legislation that tightened abortion rules and eased gun restrictions announced Friday she won’t seek re-election next year.

Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, R-Mecklenburg, who is now in her second term, told fellow House Republicans of her decision by email.

Schaffer said increasing work opportunities with her family’s executive search firm and her legal and consulting activities don’t allow her the flexibility to seek another term. She wrote she came to her decision six months ago and started telling some colleagues in August.

The decision had nothing to do with political factors or potential 2016 opponents, Schaffer wrote. Earlier Friday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board member Tim Morgan, a Republican, announced he would run for her 105th House District seat, The Charlotte Observer reported (https://bit.ly/1MiM0GB ).

“Ultimately, however, it is time for me to pursue the next exciting professional chapter of my life,” Schaffer wrote. She will serve out her term through the end of 2016.

Schaffer helped pass legislation this year that extended the abortion waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours. Other sponsored bills that are now law broadened where concealed handguns are permitted. She also introduced legislation that stalled designed to give business owners or individuals a stronger defense to refuse to carry out laws based on one’s religious beliefs, particularly opposition to gay marriage.

Schaffer was an “an exemplary leader on issues of eternal importance to conservatives - pro-life reforms, religious freedom, and marriage and families,” said Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition.

Morgan, in his sixth year on the school board, told the Observer he wants to focus on education, transportation and jobs if elected.

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