Naifeh to retire after 38 years in House - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Naifeh to retire after 38 years in House

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Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, bangs the gavel to open the 2008 session in Nashville in this file photo.  / Associated Press. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, bangs the gavel to open the 2008 session in Nashville in this file photo. / Associated Press.

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Rep. Jimmy Naifeh says he won't seek re-election after serving in the House of Representitives for 38 years.

Naifeh, who holds the title of speaker emeritus, was to make the announcement on the House floor Thursday.

The Covington Democrat said in a prepared statement that "after talking with my family and friends, I believe the time has come for me to pass the torch to the next generation of leaders."

Naifeh was elected to the House in 1974, after losing his first bid for office in 1972.

In addition to being the longest serving Speaker of the House in Tennessee history, Naifeh served as Floor Leader, Majority Leader and President of the National Speaker's Conference.

Naifeh is the ninth Democratic lawmaker to announce his retirement this year.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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