- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee House Democratic lawmaker has announced he will retire next year at the end of this Republican-led General Assembly.

In a letter to supporters Friday, Rep. Joe Pitts of Clarksville said he’s retiring to allow another citizen legislator experience the excitement of helping constituents.

Pitts, who works for Planters Bank, was first elected to a two-year term in 2006 and has been re-elected each time since.

Pitts said he announced his retirement early to give voters plenty of time to examine candidates to replace him. He said he also wants prospective candidates to have sufficient time to examine how much commitment the job entails.

House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh said Pitts is a model husband, father, grandfather and representative.

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