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Congressman Says He Will Retire

Washington DC – Congressman Lane Evans (D-IL) says he will retire from the seat he's held since the early 1980s. Evans ran unopposed in last week's Democratic primary, but has been struggling with Parkinson's disease. He's missed a number of votes in the past month. Local Democratic leaders are expected to meet to slate a replacement. For now, the only candidate for the seat is Andrea Zinga, who won last week's Republican primary.
Here is Evans' retirement statement:
This is a tough day for me. I am announcing that I will not run for re-election and will retire at the end of my current term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
When I announced in 1998 that I had Parkinson's disease, my doctor said that this condition would not interfere with my work and that I would be able to perform at a high level for a number of years. That window of opportunity is now closing.
I fully expected that I would continue my work for the foreseeable future following this current break from the office. But I have come to recognize that the time needed to address my health makes it difficult to wage a campaign and carry out my work as representative. I will return soon and to the best of my ability complete the important work of this term in my roles as representative and ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
This decision is especially tough because this job means so much to me. I believe strongly in serving people and working to make a positive difference in their lives. Every day has been rewarding and I'm proud of what I've been able to accomplish and the fights I've made.
I thank my family and everyone who has worked with me - great friends, terrific colleagues, a dedicated staff, fellow vets. And I appreciate the support of people I never met before who would ask how I was doing and tell me to keep up the good fight. I'll be doing that in the weeks and months ahead and look forward to thanking every one of you personally for all you have meant to me.
To my constituents and veterans across this country, it is an honor and privilege to represent you.
Semper fi,