The man who has led state Senate Democrats for two decades will not run for reelection after this year.
Sen. John Land III (D-Manning) made the announcement on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon. Land has spent 38 years in the General Assembly, including 36 years in the Senate.
The senator ended his remarks with: “Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, I’m free at last.
The Clarendon County senator also shared some of his favorite memories and offered some advice to lawmakers who will return. (Listen to entire speech below).
Land has led the Democratic Caucus in the Senate since 1993, switching from majority leader to minority leader after Republicans took control of the chamber in 2000.
In the private sector, Land is an attorney in Clarendon County who is a managing partner in Land, Parker & Welch.
Land is the third senator to announce his retirement in the past month. Sen. Phil Leventis (D-Sumter) announced in February that he would call it quits after 32 years and Sen. Greg Ryberg (R-Aiken) said Friday that he would end his career after 19 years in the body.
AUDIO: Land’s remarks to the Senate (10:51)