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Bond: Senate Career Will End After This Term

In a surprise announcement in Jefferson City Thursday, U.S. Senator Kit Bond declared he will not seek re-election in 2010. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports.

Appearing before the General Assembly in the capitol building Thursday morning, Bond came out with the news that took even some of his closest supporters by surprise.

"Public service has been a blessing and a labor of love for me," he told lawmakers. "Little in life could be more fulfilling. But I have decided that my Senate career will end after this, my fourth term."

Bond’s public service to the state of Missouri began as State Auditor in 1970, then he became the state’s youngest governor in 1972 at the age of 33.

He was elected to four terms as U.S. Senator, and was expected to seek a fifth term. In his remarks, he thanked Missouri lawmakers, his thousands of supporters over the years, his political adversaries, and even the media for, as he put it, keeping him humble.

"Most of all, I thank the voters of Missouri who sent me to Jefferson City three times and Washington, D.C. four times to represent them. There is no greater honor. I am truly blessed to have been entrusted by them with the responsibilities of these offices," Bond said.

Bond said his family has been in Missouri for six generations, and that he intends to continue making a difference in the lives of Missourians.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.