Senate President Bob Burns, who was first elected as a lawmaker in 1988, is retiring from the Legislature.
The revelation didn’t come as a surprise, although when asked about his plans, Burns would only say he was running for the golf course.
“I don’t have any plans to do anything otherwise,” Burns said more definitively when asked on May 11 if he’s retiring from politics after this year.
Burns cannot seek reelection to the Senate because of term limits.
His options had included aiming for the House or even for State Treasurer, he said. Part of the reason he decided against running for another office was the workload he had as Senate President, and he didn’t want to divide his attention.
When asked if he is precluding a future run for office, Burns said: “I guess you never close the door completely, but I’m not very young anymore.”
Burns, of Peoria, will be 72 on May 26.
Before serving as Senate President, Burns held the position of Appropriations chairman both in the Senate and the House.
He is a fiscal conservative and is a known pragmatist. Despite his initial and vigorous opposition, he played a key role in passing Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal for a temporary sales tax referral.
Burns is one of the longest-serving lawmakers in the capitol.