After nearly a half-century in the Louisiana Legislature, John Alario has decided to bow out of that arena, and will not run for a House seat when his current state Senate term expires.
Alario, who began his career representing Westwego in the state House in 1972, will have his run end in the Louisiana state Senate in January due to term limits. The Senate President had the option to run for his corresponding House seat, District 83.
“After many months of thoughtful deliberation, I have decided not to run for the House District 83 seat in the upcoming election. This decision is not one I make lightly but it is what I believe to be best for my family. They have always been my biggest supporters and I am looking forward to spending more time with them at home and in the community. I'd like to extend deep appreciation to my devoted neighbors and countless dedicated friends for their unwavering support," Alario said in a statement.
Over the last four dozen years, hundreds of legislators have come and gone in Louisiana.
Alario, a tax accountant, is 75. Cancer claimed his beloved wife, Ree, 13 years ago, and he underwent a seven-bypass heart surgery in 1995. During his 48 years in the Legislature, Alario served twice as both the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, the only legislator in the state to do so.
His statement continued: "I want to thank my colleagues for their friendship, guidance, and commitment to this state. My career at the legislature was filled with triumphs and challenges and I will forever cherish every memory we made along the way.
"And to the citizens of Senate District 8, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Representing you has been one of the greatest privileges of my life and I will always be honored that you chose me and trusted me to serve as the voice of our people in Baton Rouge.”
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Staff writer Tyler Bridges contributed to this report.