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Senator Long remarks

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  • David Long with wife Melissa. Photo by Niki Kelly | The Journal Gazette

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:14 pm

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long announces retirement

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS - Fort Wayne Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long stunned the Statehouse Tuesday by announcing he is retiring later this year after serving 22 years in the post.

Long's term isn't up until 2020 but he called a press conference Tuesday and added his name to a list of lawmakers leaving the legislature. He plans to leave on Election Day in November.

"For me it's time," he said.

Long said he considered not running again in 2016 but there were several key things he still wanted to accomplish including another balanced budget, a road funding plan and building the Senate Republican bench. 

"The beat goes on," he said of the next generation. "It's their time."

Long met with Gov. Eric Holcomb privately Monday and informed close friends right before Tuesday's statement.

Long has served the Indiana Senate since 1996 and has led the chamber since 2006. Though he has a supermajority of Republicans it has been difficult at times to wrangle the uber-conservative wing of the caucus with the more moderate one.

Rumors of a possible departure have popped up in recent months but Long dismissed them publicly.

When not in the Senate, Long is general counsel for Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne. He is married to former Fort Wayne TV anchor Melissa Long and has two sons. She attended Tuesday's event alongside her husband.

Two other high-ranking and experienced Senate Republicans have left in recent months – Luke Kenley and Brandt Hershman, who helmed the Appropriations and Tax and Fiscal Policy committees respectively.

Of the 41 members of the current Senate Republican caucus, only eight were in the Senate when Long was first tapped as President Pro Tem.

For more on this story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 1 a.m.