RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Quotes from North Carolina elected and party officials about U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., who announced Thursday he wasn't seeking re-election in 2014:
"Congressman Coble has been a steadfast voice for North Carolina in Washington for nearly 30 years and he will be sorely missed ... Having served with Howard for many years, I am proud to call him a friend and mentor." -- U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who served 10 years in the House with Coble.
"Howard Coble is one of the best-liked members of the House of Representatives, and that affection extends across the political spectrum. Always ready with a kind word for everyone.... it's difficult to walk anywhere with Howard in Washington, D.C. or North Carolina without being stopped several times because he has so many friends who want to chat with him ...
"Over the years, I have valued his friendship immensely, and greatly admired his attentiveness to constituents and his dedicated service in the House. Howard reminds us of a time when our politics were less hard-edged." -- U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C.
"In a true testament to his character, Congressman Coble never met a stranger and was always quick to deliver a kind word and smile. I will always appreciate Congressman Coble's friendship and be thankful for the many dedicated years he spent representing us in Washington." -- Todd Poole, executive director of the state Republican Party and a former congressional chief of staff.
"For three decades, Howard Coble has been a leading voice for conservative North Carolina values in Congress. And for nearly as long, he has been my mentor and friend. Congressman Coble's leadership and legacy of public service will be sorely missed by the people of his district and all across our state." -- state Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, whose son is expected to seek to succeed Coble in Congress.