ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Longtime Congressman Jerry Costello has announced that he will not seek re-election.

During a news conference at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia Tuesday, the 62-year-old Democrat from East St. Louis said  he won’t run again because he plans to pursue other interests.

Costello was first elected as U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District, which covers Granite City, Belleville, East St. Louis, Alton and Carbondale, back in 1988.

Even then, Costello said he knew he didn’t want to work in Washington D.C. forever, and hoped to one day pursue other interests.

He says that day has now arrived.

“I would like to teach some, to share my experiences and the knowledge that I’ve learned as a member of Congress over the year with younger people in our area,” Costello said.

He added that he’s also looking to do some political consulting, adding that he plans to serve out the rest of his current term and endorse a Democratic successor for the 2012 election.

Most of all, Costello said, the timing just seemed right to move on.

“I see colleagues today that frankly have stayed too long, on both sides of the aisle,” Costello pointed out, though he didn’t name names.  “There comes a time when you have to make the decision, what do you want to do with your life?  Do you want to continue to spend the rest of your working days when you’re healthy and when you’re able to make sound decisions?  Do you want to do that in Congress or do you want to go out and do other things?”

Costello adds he was proud of his record in Congress, particularly his work to improve the transportation network of southwestern and southern Illinois, and keeping Scott Air Force Base off the military’s base closure list on more than one occasion.

Copyright KMOX Radio


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