A longtime northern Virginia political figure has decided to calls it quits.
In an emotional speech on the Virginia Senate floor, Alexandria Democrat Patsy Ticer told her colleagues, "I have finally come to the end of the line."
Ticer's 30th senate district covers Alexandria and parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties. She's been a fixture in local politics since 1982 when she was first elected to Alexandria's City Council. She became the city's first female mayor in 1991 and held that position until she was elected to the state Senate in 1995.
As Alexandria mayor, Ticer helped lead the high profile fight against former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke's efforts to build a stadium at Potomac Yard. In the Senate, she was known as a strong advocate for children, education funding and women's rights.
Ticer was a honored today with a standing ovation from her colleagues. She acknowledged it will be strange stepping away from elective office after three decades.
"It's hard for me to imagine what my life will be like not being in public office, but I look forward to this new challenge," she said.
There will be fierce competition for Ticer's seat in the solidly Democratic district. Delegate Adam Ebbin, Alexandria Councilman Rob Krupicka and Arlington School Board Chairman Libby Garvey have announced their intent to run for the Democratic nomination if Ticer retired.