- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Republican state Sen. Joe Kyrillos says he will be retiring from the Legislature after three decades.

Kyrillos said in a statement Tuesday that serving the people of the state and his Monmouth County district were the “greatest privilege” of his life.

Kyrillos was defeated in the 2012 U.S. Senate race by Democrat Bob Menendez by nearly 20 points and had been a close ally of Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

But the two have drifted apart in recent years, with Kyrillos endorsing Jeb Bush for president rather than Christie in the Republican primary.

Christie said Wednesday that Kyrillos served his constituents with “great skill and passion.”

Kyrillos began serving in the Assembly in 1988 and was elected to the Senate in 1991. He leaves office in 2018.

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