Sen. Chuck Gray has announced he won’t be seeking reelection in 2010, a big surprise considering he was widely expected to seek the chamber’s presidency. “I am not a career politician,” he said in a statement Friday. “I am a husband and father who served his state and community and is now preparing to return to private life for a time.” Gray, the current Senate majority leader, said business opportunities have presented themselves and they “cannot be ignored.” “I owe it to my family to provide for them the fulfillment of the American dream that we all hope for,” he wrote. “Now is the time to act on behalf of my family and our goals for the future. But, I will always champion the cause of freedom.”
Gray, a former police officer, joined the House in 2003 and was appointed to fill Marilyn Jarrett’s Senate seat in 2006 at her passing. Gray served as an LDS missionary in Spain and is fluent in Spanish. Upon his return from the mission, Gray worked in his family construction business as a brick, block and stone mason while attending Mesa Community College. He then became a police officer for 10 years. In 1997, he established an Internet company that markets automotive accessories.
With Gray not seeking reelection, the number of senators who are not returning to the chamber increases to 13, assuming Sen. John Huppenthal follows through with his plans to run for superintendent of public instruction. A total of 11 senators face term limits in 2010.
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