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Senate veteran Barnes is retiring

CONCORD -- The Senate&#';s longest-serving member is retiring.

Sen. Jack Barnes, R-Raymond, has represented District 17 for nearly 20 years.
Rep. John Reagan, R-Deerfield, will be seeking the seat, whom Barnes &#';personally called upon ... to be his successor,&#'; according to a press release from Reagan late Monday.

Barnes&#'; decision brings the number of senators leaving office to nine, more than one-third of the body.

Barnes, 81, was first elected in 1992, and has represented District 17 continuously since then, with the exception of 1998-2000.

Barnes, who fought in the Korean War, is known for his advocacy of veterans' issues -- and as a die-hard Red Sox fan.

Senate leaders were not informed of Barnes&#'; decision, but several praised his dedication and passion.

&#';He&#';s certainly earned the right to do this in his own way,&#'; said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, referring to Barnes&#'; retirement.

Barnes has not indicated why he decided to retire, although he has expressed disapproval of some of the changes brought by the new Senate redistricting map, lamenting ahead of a vote earlier this year that he would be losing five communities.

Barnes could not be reached for comment.

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