Senate veteran Barnes 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.