Chugiak’s Sen. Bill Stoltze made an unexpected announcement to colleagues on the Senate floor Wednesday. Stoltze said he won’t seek re-election this year, citing medical concerns.

“Some of my colleagues have asked for clarification,” he said. “I’m not dying at an any more accelerated pace than any of the rest of you and I am not running again, you just have to bear with me through all the special sessions wherever they may meet.”

Stoltze served as a legislative aide from 1982 to 2006, before becoming a state representative. He served 12 years in the House; this was his second year in the Senate.

Normally, senators run for four-year terms, but Stoltze was serving a shorter term because of redistricting, which happens every 10 years. After redistricting, half of Alaska’s 20 state senators run for four-year terms, the other half run for two-year terms. This ensures that at least 10 Senate seats are up for election every two years, along with all 40 House seats.

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