RALEIGH, N.C. — Wheelchair-bound Sen. John P. East, who has been recovering from a thyroid problem, announced today that he will not seek election to a second term in 1986.
The 54-year-old Republican, a close ally of the state's senior senator, Republican Jesse Helms, threw his support to David Funderburk, former U.S. ambassador to Romania, for the GOP nomination for the post.
"The election to fill my seat in 1986 could well determine whether Republicans maintain a majority in the . . . Senate for the last two years of President Reagan's term," East said.
"We have a choice of electing someone who will help further President Reagan's programs . . . or a Democrat who marches in lock-step with Walter Mondale and the liberals in the national Democratic Party."