Governor Jack Dalrymple said that will not seek reelection in 2016.
He has been the governor since he was appointed by now-Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., in 2010. He was elected to a four year term in 2012. Now, he's decided to step away when that term expires.
"It's a wonderful feeling to think that I could actually choose what I want to do," said Dalrymple.
During his time as governor, North Dakota has consistently been at the top of the country in economic growth and unemployment rates.
"Well, I think if you have a choice, it's better to be governor during peak economic times rather than the reverse," said Dalrymple.
The Casselton native said that he and first lady Betsy Dalrymple are looking forward to being able to spend more time with their grandchildren.
"Excited about what might lie ahead, but it's a little scary too because we don't really know what that course is going to be. I think we also are both really committed to working hard for the next 16 months," said Betsy Dalrymple.
"While we have certainly had disagreements with Governor Dalrymple on policy grounds, he and First Lady Betsy deserve our gratitude for their decades of service to the people of North Dakota," said Robert Haider, North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party executive director.
Neither party has had a candidate declare in the race for governor as of yet.
North Dakota's congressional delegation released the following statements regarding Dalyrmple's announcement.
"First, I thank Jack and Betsy for their many years of service to the citizens of North Dakota. They serve with great grace and ultimate competence as our governor and first lady, running our state and representing it with dignity and integrity. Jack's previous service as lieutenant governor and before that as a state legislator is marked with unusual influence and productivity. Kris and I wish Jack and Betsy all the best as they finish strong in office, and then as they transition to more family and personal time. Knowing them, I have no doubt they will continue to influence our state and its communities for good and will always make positive contributions to our nation," Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
Sen Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., "Over his more than three decades in public service in North Dakota, Governor Dalrymple has made the state and its people his priority. He has been someone who will listen to all sides of a debate and work with those who disagree with him. During his tenure, I've been proud to call Jack and Betsy friends. They love North Dakota, and we saw their fight for our state in full force during the flooding in Minot and around the Missouri River Basin in 2011. Thank you to Jack for his work for North Dakota, and I wish him and Betsy well."
"Gov. Jack Dalrymple, a friend and colleague for many years, has spent a large share of his life serving the people of North Dakota with distinction in one capacity or another," said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. "Having served 16 years in the legislature, 10 years as my partner and lieutenant governor and more than five years as governor himself, Jack has cumulatively served the people of North Dakota for more than 30 years. He has earned the appreciation and respect of all North Dakotans. Mikey and I, along with all North Dakotans, are grateful for Jack and Betsy's service and understand their desire to spend more time with their growing family. We thank them for their good stewardship of our state and wish them the very best for whatever the next chapter of life holds for them."