In what is hopefully not an April fool's Day joke, state Rep. Donna Rowland announced Thursday she will not seek re-election for the 34th District seat she's held since 2000.
She released the following statement:
I want to express my gratitude to the residents in the 34th District for the overwhelming vote of confidence given me two years ago. I took that to heart; even more determined as your state representative to show fiscal responsibility and accountability. Amid the heavy burdens, duties and responsibilities, I have not recoiled.
At the close of this year, I will have completed ten years of service. This milestone has led me to re-evaluate what is next. When first elected to the General Assembly, I felt that 10 years was an appropriate amount of time to serve. Never did I intend to be a career politician; I just wanted to be the best representative that I could be while addressing issues for my constituents.
My decade of service on Capitol Hill is coming to a close and I have made the decision not to seek re-election to the 34th District. Any private ambitions that I may have cherished in my younger days have been satisfied beyond my wildest dreams. For that, I would like to thank two groups of people, my family and the people of Rutherford for allowing me to serve for the past ten years.
To the people of Rutherford County, it has been an honor to represent you and a pleasure to get to know so many people with whom I would not have otherwise worked. The dedication to the improvement of our community is overwhelming in both the private and the public sectors. Having been allowed to be a part of that dedication is an honor I will cherish.
No path in public life is traveled alone. Along that path have been supportive family and friends. I have also been blessed with a talented, hard-working staff that has helped me do a better job. No one could have asked for a more dedicated staff to help with the thousands of constituents concerns.
I will be forever grateful to the friends and volunteers who have given their counsel and support over the years. I say a simple and heartfelt ‘thank you.’ It has truly been my friends and supporters who have made this journey possible.
Our state faces many severe and unrelenting problems. I will stay active on these matters and continue my efforts to help our citizens come together for the future of our children and grandchildren.
Other than wearing the military uniform of my country, I can think of no higher privilege than serving in public office. I hope to remain active in public service and perhaps even seek elective office again in the future. The many kindnesses, opportunities and friendships extended to me are something I cherish and for which I will be forever grateful.