04/29/2015 12:54 EDT | Updated 08/04/2015 10:59 EDT

Longtime Saskatchewan Party member says he won't seek re-election

REGINA - A longtime Saskatchewan Party member says he won't be seeking re-election and plans to pursue other business opportunities.

Wayne Elhard represents Cypress Hills, one of the largest rural ridings in the province.

Premier Brad Wall says Elhard has been a leader in the party caucus and calls him irreplaceable.

Elhard was the first person elected under the party's banner in a 1999 byelection.

He was re-elected later that year in a general election and then again in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

Elhard says it's been a pleasure to serve on behalf of his constituents.

He says he will continue in his role until the next provincial election, expected in April 2016.