PITT COUNTY -

Paul McLawhorn announced Tuesday he no longer wants to be considered as a candidate in the Pitt County sheriff race.

The current Farmville police lieutenant was the only candidate who had filed to run against current Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks in the May primary election.

Though his name will still appear on the ballot, McLawhorn said in a statement on his Facebook page that he has no plans to campaign any further, and he asks that people not vote for him.

McLawhorn's full statement follows:

"After much thought, prayer, and deliberation, I am announcing that I am no longer to be considered a candidate for the office of sheriff of Pitt County in the May 2014 primary election.

"I have never before aspired to run for public office, and the emotional, mental, and physical toll of running for an elected office is staggering, on both the candidate and their family.

"I have spoken with Sheriff Elks and advised him of my plans to no longer be considered a candidate. I have known Sheriff Elks for many years and always considered him a friend, and still do. We have no ill will toward one another.

"At this point, by election law, I cannot have my name removed from the ballot. However, I WILL NOT be campaigning from this point forward, and ask that you DO NOT vote for me in the election. I ask that the people who supported me in this endeavor now put your support behind Sheriff Elks, as I will be doing from this point forward.

"As the election draws nearer, I will be reminding you again that I am not to be considered as a candidate for this office, and please do not cast your vote for me. I have no desire to serve in this position. I also ask that you respect my decision and my family's privacy during this time."