RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina House member is stepping down three months before his re-election bid.

Democratic Rep. Ed Hanes of Winston-Salem submitted a news release announcing his resignation Tuesday with the House clerk's office. Hanes was in his third term and set to face Republican Reginald Reid in November in the 72nd House District.

Hanes didn't give a reason in the release for his departure but says he will "explore interests and opportunities across a number of platforms." Now Forsyth County Democratic activists can choose a replacement to fill Hanes' spot on the ballot and his House term through the end of the year.

Hanes has been a vocal school choice advocate who spoke out for legislation that gave taxpayer-funded scholarships for children to attend private or religious schools.