District Attorney Jerry Wilson has announced early retirement. This announcement was received from the 24th Judicial District District Attorney's office that serves Yancey, Mitchell, Madison, Avery and Watauga Counties. Wilson was initially slated to retire at the end of his term, which was set to expire after the upcoming general election in November, but a battle with lung cancer forced Wilson to expedite his retirement. Wilson announced his retirement effective March 31st. Wilson said he counted it a special honor that the people of this district allowed him to serve them as District Attorney and Prosecutor for over 30 years. Wilson served in the District Attorney’s office for 32 years – with 20 of those years as assistant district attorney. Three Republicans, including Assistant DA Britt Springer, are running for the district attorney's position, with the winner to be decided by the May 6 primary. The other candidates are Seth Banks of Burnsville and Nathan Miller of Boone. A decision on the interim district attorney will be announced by the governor’s office.