A Gaston County man's attempts to seek state office ended before he could make the ballot.

Dave Wofford had hoped to represent Gaston County in Raleigh. But feeling no connection to either major political party, he decided to pursue Rep. Dana Bumgardner's seat as an unaffiliated candidate in House District 109.

The task to do so, though, required 4 percent of registered voters — more than 2,100 voters in total — to sign a petition supporting his run. Wofford, who once ran for a county commission seat on the Republican ticket, decided earlier this month to pursue other avenues to help his community.

"As I got further into the process, I found out that in today's political climate, there are other ways for me to better serve our community and have withdrawn my name from consideration," he said.

The Gastonia native and Ashbrook High graduate said he considers himself "in transition" after selling Bruce's Iron & Metal, his family's scrap business, three years ago. He's spent time helping with community organizations including Keep Gastonia Beautiful and Habitat for Humanity.

Still going the unaffiliated route is former Gastonia Mayor Jennie Stultz. She initially announced plans to challenge Republican incumbent Kathy Harrington for the state Senate seat representing Gaston County, but recently said she will pursue the House 109 seat instead.

You can reach Adam Lawson at 704-869-1842 or on Twitter @GazetteLawson.