RALEIGH, N.C. — The head of a North Carolina conservative think tank that’s focused on school choice, lower taxes and tracking voting records of elected officials says he’ll soon retire as its president.

Francis De Luca announced plans Monday to step down as head of the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute in the spring. The former Marine colonel succeeded founding president the late Jack Hawke in 2008. The institute has been funded over the years in large part by the John William Pope Foundation.

In a statement on the group’s website, De Luca wrote he’s proud of the group’s accomplishments that he says has helped make North Carolina a better place. The organization also has a related political arm called Civitas Action.

De Luca says the Civitas board will conduct the search for his successor.

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