For the last six years, it has been my great honor to represent this area in the state Assembly.
It has been an extraordinary six years. We have been through a lot. We fought for road projects and river protection. We have struggled to close budget deficit after budget deficit. We have been through terrible forest fires, and have literally weathered the storms.
I have tried to help in big ways and small. I worked on the individual needs of those who sought my help. I wrote laws to protect our environment, to safeguard our senior citizens, to bring opportunity to our school children, to ensure patients' rights, and to help local government better care for people in need.
This really has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am eternally grateful for the privilege that has been afforded me, and the endless support I have enjoyed.
It is not easy to leave the Legislature, mainly because there is so much work left to be done. It has always been my nature to stick with projects until they are finished.
But the work of public service, by its nature, is never completed. It constantly calls to the next person and to the next generation to come lend a hand, to share the responsibilities of community life.
To those of you who would step forward and serve your community, I wish you well. And to all of you, please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks.