HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) has announced he will not seek re-election in November.

The longtime Long Island Democrat released a statement on Tuesday, saying in part “It has been an incredible and humbling opportunity to serve my community. I am grateful to my family, friends, staff, and most of all – the people of New York.”

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After nearly 16 years in office, Israel said it is time to leave politics and plans to spend more time developing new interests and writing his second novel.

The lawmaker said his proudest moments while in office include his work with the state’s veterans and military families as well as his work protecting middle-class New Yorkers.

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“I am also proud of the leadership role I’ve been able to play in the House Democratic Caucus as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and now chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee,” he continued in the statement.

Israel said that while he will miss the people he had the privilege to serve, he is looking forward to spending more time with his friends and family

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“Simply put, it’s time to pass on the torch,” he said.