TRENTON — Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. said Monday he won't seek re-election this year, two decades after he first came to the Legislature.

Kean represents the 21st Legislative District, which includes parts of Morris, Somerset and Union counties. He didn't give a reason for not seeking a new term.

“It has been an honor to serve these communities and I will always cherish the countless friendships and memories we have made together,” he said in a statement.

Kean was elected to the General Assembly in 2001 and moved up to the Senate two years later. He has served as the GOP's minority leader since 2008.

He lost a close U.S. House race last year to Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom Malinowski.

Kean, 52, is the son of former two-term Republican Gov. Tom Kean Sr.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, sent Kean his best wishes.

“When he leaves office next January, Tom Kean, Jr. will have represented his North and Central Jersey constituents for 20 years in both the State Senate and Assembly," Murphy said in a written statement issued by his office. "He has ably carried on the legacy of service that runs deep in his family. We wish Tom all the best as he transitions out of the State House and to a new chapter.”


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