After serving 40 continuous years as a member of the Utah Legislature, Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich announced Thursday he won't seek re-election next year.

The 71-year-old Price man joins two other lawmakers who have formally announced their retirement: Rep. Roz McGee, D-Salt Lake City, and Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George.

McGee made her announcement last week, while Hickman told senators at the close of the legislative session Wednesday he would not be returning. McGee has served six years, while Hickman has served 16.

"Today is the time and place," said Hickman, who pushed through a major immigration-reform bill this session. "I just want to tell the body what a great honor it has been to serve in the Utah State Senate and how much I love you all. It's time to say goodbye, so that's what I'm doing tonight."

Dmitrich also said it was time for him to move on. He was first elected in 1968 to the Utah House of Representatives, at age 31, and later appointed to serve in the Senate. Through his legislative career, he promoted education issues and most recently served on a committee to oversee mine safety after the Crandall Canyon Mine accident in Carbon County last year.

"I would like to thank the constituents of the districts I have represented over the years for allowing me the privilege of serving them in the Utah Legislature," Dmitrich said in a statement. "I also appreciate the friendships I have formed on both sides of the aisle during my legislative career."

As for McGee, the representative has been described as an advocate for education issues. She has lived in Utah since 1982, and was previously Executive Director of Voices for Utah Children.

"We will miss her smile, her quick wit and especially her insight into the plight of the people whose voices are often not heard," House Minority Leader Brad King, D-Price was quoted as saying in an earlier article about her retirement.

Contributing: Lisa Riley Roche, Art Raymond

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