Citing plans to spend more time with her family, state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, announced Wednesday she will not run for reelection in 2016. McClendon said she felt it was time for a new representative to take the seat she has held since 1996.

"With the family I love, I have made this decision carefully, realizing that it is time for someone else to take up the mantle and continue working to bring real solutions to our shared public problems,” McClendon said in a press release. “Although I will not return to the Legislature in 2017, I will still be engaged to ensure that the issues I have fought for will have a voice!"

During the 84th legislative session this spring, McClendon saw passage of a bill establishing an innocence commission to examine wrongful convictions – one of her longtime goals. Despite battling an illness that left her frequently using a wheelchair, McClendon stood at the front of the House chamber and spoke about her bill before it was passed.

McClendon chairs the House Committee on Rules and Resolutions and serves on the appropriations and transportation committees. She will retain her seat the end of her term in early 2017.

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"My life has been blessed through my work, and I hope my efforts have blessed others,” she said in the release. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with many great leaders, both from our local community and our state. I offer my love and appreciation to all who have worked with me, those who made my life possible, and those I have represented. I can never repay you for allowing me to be your public servant and Representative. May God bless all of you!"