After two decades in Congress, U.S. Rep. John Olver, D-Mass., announced he will retire at the end of his term.
Last December, I announced that I intended to seek to continue my congressional service beyond 2012, Olver said in a statement. Over the past six months, circumstances within my family have substantially changed, and I now find I must reconsider my earlier decision.
The 75-year-old has been in elected office for over four decades, at both the state and national levels. He is in his 11th term representing the First Congressional District, which ranges from Massachusetts' western border to Worcester county.
Olver serves as ranking minority member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
Rumors of the congressman's retirement began after reports emerged that his wife, Rose, began treatment for ovarian cancer, according to boston.com.
The retirement changes the face of Massachusetts' redistricting fight, which requires the state to lose one of its 10 Congressional seats. Democrats had originally feared that two party members would have to face off in a primary for a newly drawn seat - one that possibly included Olver's, according to The Washington Post.