Yesterday (Jan. 20), Senator James L. Seward announced that he will be retiring at the end of 2020, as he will not seek re-election.
Currently, Seward is fighting cancer, and is serving his 17th term after first being elected to the senate in 1986. He said that he has responded well to his treatments, but his doctors have advised him that treatment will continue and could limit his ability to campaign for a re-election.
In a statement, he says that the decision is the right move for his health, family, and the people of the 51st Senate District.
Here is Seward’s full statement on his retirement:
I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020 and will retire from the senate when my current term, my 17th, expires at the end of the year. While I have responded well to cancer treatments, my physicians have advised me that treatments will continue for the foreseeable future limiting my ability to maintain the rigorous schedule needed to campaign for re-election. This is the right decision for my health, my family, and the people of the 51st Senate District.
I want to stress that this decision is in no way related to majority or minority standing in the senate. I have effectively served under both scenarios and have always fought for the best interests of my constituents no matter the party in power - which is exactly what I will continue to do for the remainder of my term.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in the state senate and sincerely thank the voters for their support and confidence. The sacred trust bestowed in me by those I have had the privilege to represent has always been foremost on my mind.
My family and I also want to offer our sincere thanks to the great many well-wishers for the cards, prayers, and positive messages we have received over the past few months during my cancer treatment. The encouraging sentiments mean a great deal.
Throughout my time in the state senate I have focused on improving the lives of those I represent – advancing legislation, securing state grants for key community needs, and working directly with constituents in need of help. I have been blessed to work with many great individuals both at the Capitol and at home and will cherish those strong partnerships.
There will be plenty of time to reminisce about the accomplishments, but there is still work ahead. As I wrap up my senate career, I will continue to focus on the issues and concerns people express to me every day and I look forward to a few additional success stories.
My commitment to our region will continue and I look forward to further service in the future.