The former two-term North Carolina House speaker from Chapel Hill released a statement saying he looks forward to a "more predictable schedule" for his family, law practice and the Chatham County farm he and his brother operate.
Hackney served as speaker from 2007 through 2010, losing the job when Republicans took over a majority in early 2011. He has served as minority leader since then and says he'll serve out his House term through the end of the year.
"I will serve out the remainder of my term with enthusiasm," Hackney said in the statement. "As Minority Leader, I will work actively this year for a Democratic majority and a new Democratic Speaker for the NC House in 2013; I will continue to assist our candidates' campaigns and will actively raise money for them, as I have in the past."
The Representative offered no reason other reasons for his decision.
In 2007, Hackney was diagnosed with prostate cancer and returned to the Legislature just months later.
"I am very grateful to the voters of Chatham, Orange, (and more recently a small part of Moore) who gave me the high privilege of representing them in matters of public policy for 32 years," Hackney's statement went on to say. "... I enjoyed all of it immensely, and gave it my all. I think I made a contribution."
Republican re-drawing of election districts placed Hackney in the same district with Rep. Verla Insko.
Hackney is a past president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.