I've led so many fights - big and small - over the course of my career. Fights that led to fundamental changes for all our citizens; fights that made our laws a little more humane. . . . On many occasions, someone will come up to me and tell me that I made a difference in their life. . . . Whenever that happens, I feel a great sense of gratitude to the people of my district who have given me the enormous honor and opportunity to help people - by electing me eight times to serve them in the state Senate.
. . . There are a number of reasons why I have chosen to retire, but above all I simply don't think it is right for me to ask the voters who have put their faith in me all these years to consider voting for me one more time while there is a cloud hanging over my head. . . . I simply believe it is time for our district to turn the page and look to new, young leadership.
It's hard for me to take this step, because I know that I have much more to offer. . . . I realize, however, that the situation I find myself in makes it difficult for my voice to be heard above the constant chatter about my upcoming trial.
. . . Last week, as many of you know, I suffered a heart attack. I did not make the decision to retire because of health issues. But I did take time while recovering in the hospital last week to reassess my life and set a few new priorities.
To be frank, the stress of being under indictment has taken a very real emotional toll - a toll that does not afford me the ability to run the kind of campaign I would like to run and would have run in the past.
It's time now for me to be with true friends and, most importantly, my family.
. . . Finally, I want to thank the people of the First State Senate District for making ours the best district in all of Pennsylvania.
. . . I will continue to represent you with all the energy God allows me to muster to the very end of my term in office. And to paraphrase one of my heroes, President John F. Kennedy: It is time to pass the torch to a new generation. I hope the person who succeeds me has knowledge, courage and honor, and will continue to represent the people in my district in the same 24/7 manner that I have tried to do.
God bless, and thank you for listening today.