As she prepares to end a 24-year legislative career, Louisiana Senate President Pro Tem Sharon Broome recalled how her foray into politics started.

“Running for public office was not in my career plan but it was obviously in God’s plan for my life,” Broome told her Senate colleagues Friday. The Baton Rouge Democrat said she can distinctly remember that “still small voice calling me to public service.”

That was back in 1988 when she became a Baton Rouge Metro Council member.

Broome opened her Senate farewell speech with the radio message in that first run for public office. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Let’s take that step and build a community. Put people first and politics last.”

Broome moved from Metro Council to the Louisiana House then to the Senate where she is closing out her third and final term – unable to run again because of term limits.

“That thousand miles I talked about in my first radio spot, I plan to continue to follow the path to public service to another location right down the street….not far from here,” said Broome, referring to City Hall.

Broome is running for mayor-president hoping to follow Kip Holden whose Senate seat she won after Holden won election as mayor.

Broome had some advice for senators, including serving in a bipartisan way, “apply the Golden rule,” and “remain true to the balance of powers.”

“We are the legislaive branch and we have our own rights and obligation to represent the people,” she said.

Broome threw kudos to state Rep. Regina Barrow as well as Metro Council members Ronnie Edwards and Donna Collins-Lewis who listened from the sidelines.

Edwards and Collins-Lewis were Broome’s assistants when she was on the Metro Council and Barrow her legislative assistant when she served in the Louisiana House.

Barrow now plans to try to succeed her former boss.

“None of us makes this journey alone. If it had not been for these three women I don’t know I would have made it as far as I have, with them and the grace of God,” Broome said.