Gov. George Deukmejian announced Thursday he will not seek a third term as governor, saying that he wants to return to private life for "additional new challenges."

The Republican governor, first elected in 1982 after narrowly defeating Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, made the announcement at a news conference at the state Capitol, ending months of speculation about his political future."Now I want to rack up two more years of accomplishments before I leave office," he said. "The best way for me to do that is by not running for a third term."

If he ran again, he said, the Democrat-controlled Legislature might be "reluctant to cooperate" with him.

"I didn't come to public office to set some record of longevity."