06/26/2014 11:43 EDT | Updated 08/26/2014 05:59 EDT

NDP's Joe Comartin Will Not Seek Re-Election


Long-time Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MP Joe Comartin will not seek re-election in the next federal election.

Comartin made the announcement Thursday at Willistead Park in Windsor, Ont.

"My wife and I spent a lot of time talking about this. I had a small group I consulted with to make this decision," Comartin said. "It wasn’t easy. It’s been the last year or so, we’ve been discussing it."

Comartin said age is the reason behind his decision. Comartin is 66. He will stay on as MP until the next election is called.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not set a date.

"My one concern was to make sure the riding stays NDP. It’s the reason why I made this announcement this early; to give the candidate to replace me to get their campaign underway," Comartin said.

Comartin was first elected in 2000. He was 2008 Speaker of the House. Comartin is currently deputy speaker.

He was voted most knowledgeable parliamentarian three times by his peers.

Comartin tabled legislation that would legalize single-event sports betting. It's still being debated in the Senate.

Comartin has no plans for his retirement.

"Since I was 13 and in high school, I was always actively engaged in my community," he said. "I can’t imagine changing that. I’ll still be involved. I just haven’t decided what it’ll be."

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