Massachusetts Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announced Wednesday that she will not seek re-election to another term in 2018.
"I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for new beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times. The time feels right most especially because of my desire to spend more time enjoying and celebrating my wonderful and growing family," she said in a statement.
"I look forward to finishing out my term, and over the next year and a half, I will dedicate each day to improving the quality of the lives of my fellow residents and the lives of countless people like them across our Commonwealth and nation."
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Tsongas was elected to Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District seat in 2007, filling the opening left when Democratic U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan left to become chancellor of UMass Lowell.
Her husband, Paul Tsongas, had previously held the seat and also served in the U.S. Senate. He died of cancer in 1997.
Tsongas said in the 10 years she has held the seat, she has worked to make a difference in the lives of people in the district and the nation.
"My very first vote in Congress was cast to expand health care for women and children," she said. "Given our family’s experience and knowing how critical access to affordable health coverage is, I helped pass life-saving health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and have fought to defend its protections for millions of Americans."