LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- State Representative Darryl Owens said he will not run for reelection in 2018. 

The Louisville Democrat has represented District 43 since 2005. 

The 80-year-old has been in public service for more than 40 years serving as a district judge, assistant attorney general and as a Jefferson County commissioner. 

In a release, Owens thanked his constituents and called serving in the Kentucky House "the highest honor" of his life.  "I have enjoyed every minute of this job but it's time for a change and to make room for the next generation of leaders to take up the mantle," said Owens.

Over the past 15 years, Rep. Owens has focused on issues including criminal justice, public education, social services, voter rights and the felony expungement bill, which restores voting rights to non-violent felons who have served their sentences.  He calls the passage one of his "most gratifying achievements."

Rep. Owens said, "It reflects my belief that every human deserves a second chance, and now non-violent offenders are getting that second chance at life."

Friend and communications consultant Susan Klimchack says Owens wants to concentrate on his health.  He still plans to stay active with various causes and organizations. But he's ready to spend more time with his wife and grown children. 

Rep. Owens will continue to serve in the General Assembly through 2018.

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