Longtime Anchorage Rep. Les Gara, 55, announced in a newsletter to constituents Tuesday that he will not be seeking re-election.
First elected in 2003, Gara, a Democrat and attorney, has been an active voice in statewide politics and has championed efforts to improve the Alaska child-welfare system.
"I have a term to complete and will keep working hard for you until mid-January," Gara wrote.
Gara represents House District 20, which includes downtown Anchorage, Government Hill, Inlet View, Westchester, Merrill Field and Fairview.
"It was a hard decision," he wrote. "Waking up every morning, knowing you have the chance, and obligation, to try to make someone's life better is an amazing privilege. Many of you know this from your own jobs."
Gara wrote: "My decision came down to this. Basically, I could use a little break from 16 years in a row of working with a lot of great legislators, and a few with, let's say, more challenging personalities. They make what would otherwise work much better bog down."