SELMA, Ala. — Alabama’s longest serving state senator has decided to step aside in favor of his daughter.

News outlets report Sen. Hank Sanders announced Saturday that he would not seek a 10th term in office. He said his daughter, Malika Sanders-Fortier, will run for the Senate District 23 seat, which covers the Selma area.

In a statement, the 75-year-old Sanders cited his recent 48th anniversary as a catalyst, saying it was time to re-evaluate his future after realizing the magnitude of taking just 24 hours off. Sanders, who has served in the senate for 35 years, originally planned to seek one final term.

He’s the 10th senator and only Democrat to decide to not seek re-election.

Sanders-Fortier qualified for the June 5 primary. No other candidates from either major political party had qualified before Friday’s deadline.

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