Long-time lawmaker Charlie Brown won’t run again

Staff Report

 INDIANAPOLIS — After holding a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives for more than 35 years, Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election.

His political career, however, isn’t over. He said he will seek local office in Lake County.

“As a state legislator representing Gary, Hobart, Lake Station, New Chicago and portions of Porter County, too, I have always looked out for, pushed for, advocated for, and protected Northwest Indiana in the halls of the state capitol,” Brown, 79, said in a statement.

State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary

“I believe I have fought the good fight for a long time, but the time has come to stop these frequent drives up and down I-65,” he added. He has served in the Indiana General Assembly since 1982.

Brown’s colleague, Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, and chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, praised Brown as a champion for strong health programs.

“Just consider the list of programs that bear his imprint: fighting childhood obesity, improving childhood immunization, getting people to stop smoking, offering assistance to seniors in purchasing affordable drugs through the Hoosier Rx program, enabling in-home care through the CHOICE program, and ensuring parity in mental health insurance,” Pryor said in a statement.

She also applauded his work as as a champion for civil rights and to improve the quality of life in Northwest Indiana.

“His shadow will loom large over the Statehouse, even after he departs the House chamber for the last time,” she added.

Brown said that he felt emotional last week on Organization Day, the official start of the 2018 legislative session, knowing it would be his last as a lawmaker.

“It was a day of thankfulness and gratitude along with, honestly, some pride for my long tenure and the positive impacts of my service there,” he said. “There was a bittersweet satisfaction about the fact that when the current legislative session wraps up in early 2018, I will not often pass this way again.”

The legislative session resumes on Jan. 3.

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