RALEIGH, N.C. -- Former University of North Carolina president Erskine Bowles will not run for North Carolina Governor, NewsChannel 36 has confirmed.

Bowles served as chief of staff in Bill Clinton's White House, led the prestigious University of North Carolina system and headed a bipartisan commission that recommended tough choices to reduce the U.S. deficit.

I will not be a candidate for governor. I've spent a lot of time trying to think what is the right thing for me to do. I don't think anyone questions my love for North Carolina or my efforts to make our State a better place to live, work , or raise a family, Bowles said in a statement. I've done my best in this regard and I plan to continue to do so.

There are lots of ways to make a difference , lots of ways to add to the community woodpile . I'm excited about helping our State's and Nation's leaders move North Carolina and our Country forward . We've got big challenges and great opportunities . I'm confident if we can get folks to put politics aside , and pull together , not apart , there are no problems we can't solve working together.

The Charlotte investment banker was being asked to consider public service again - this time by fellow Democrats in his home state who wanted him to run for governor after incumbent Beverly Perdue shocked many last week by announcing she wouldn't seek re-election.

While two Democrats have already gotten in, other party notables - three current or former congressmen and a previous state treasurer among them - were waiting for Bowles to decide in a race that could have implications for a presidential swing state that is hosting the Democratic convention.
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