BERGEN COUNTY, NJ - Longtime Democratic State Senator Loretta Weinberg announced on Wednesday that she will retire at the end of her current term.
The Senate Majority Leader since 2012, Weinberg said it was the right time for her to leave.
"I feel overwhelmed...I feel emotional," Weinberg told Briana Vannozzi of "NJ Spotlight News." "But I don't feel conflicted about my decision. This is my time...this is the time that felt right for me."
Weinberg has served in the State Senate since 2005. Previously she was in the New Jersey State Assembly from 1992 to 2005. She also served on the Teaneck Council from 1990 to 1994.
In 2008, Weinberg was the first Democratic candidate to run for Lieutenant Governor. She also chaired the Legislative Oversight Committee that investigated the Bridgegate scandal.
Governor Phil Murphy recognized Weinberg's years of service during his Wednesday press conference.
"Senator Weinberg has been a singular voice in the statehouse, championing progressive action since she entered the General Assembly in 1992," said Murphy. "She's proudly worn the mantle of New Jersey's unofficial Jewish grandmother."
"She has proven herself a strong advocate and equally tough adversary, depending on which side of the aisle or which side of an issue you found yourself on. But she is all heart."
Senator Paul A. Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) and Senator Joseph A. Lagana (D-Paramus) issued a statement about Weinberg's retirement.
“We congratulate our Bergen County Senate colleague Loretta Weinberg on her retirement from the State Senate and thank her for her service to our State. Throughout her legislative career, she has been a tireless advocate and proud champion for the causes and issues important to her. During her more than 45 years in public office as a municipal, county and state official, Loretta never shied away from a fight that she felt was just and always had the courage to stand up for her principles. Loretta has earned the right to take a well-deserved opportunity to enjoy more time with her children and grandchildren. It has been an honor to serve with Loretta in the New Jersey Senate, and we wish her health and happiness in retirement.”