Twenty years in the Tennessee General Assembly will be enough for state Rep. Charles Curtiss.
Curtiss told the Standard on Tuesday he will relinquish his seat in the 43rd District and not seek re-election after completing his 10th term in November 2014. Terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives are for two years.
“Politics has gotten too ugly,” said Curtiss, D-Sparta. “If the only way to get elected is to talk bad about somebody, I’d just as soon stay at home. I feel comfortable with my decision. I think I’ve served well and I’ve served under my terms. I’m not going to become somebody I’m not just so I can stay in office.”
The last opponent for Curtiss in November 2012 was Robert Dunham, who waged a negative campaign. Curtiss won by 680 votes and said afterwards he was surprised with how “dirty” his opponent had campaigned.
“I wasn’t running against him,” said Curtiss. “I was running against the state Republican party.”
Curtiss said he has many memorable moments on Capitol Hill, but he feels his biggest accomplishment is his role in leaving Tennessee on sound financial footing.
“The biggest issue we have every year is passing a balanced budget,” said Curtiss. “Tennessee is one of the best managed states in the country and that’s always been because of Democrats and Republicans working together. That’s starting not to happen as much anymore.”
Curtiss said he is making the announcement now in order to give candidates ample time to prepare for a run for office. The Democratic primary will be in August 2014, followed by the general election in November.
The 43rd District was redrawn for the 2012 election. It now includes all of White and Grundy counties and about two-thirds of Warren County. State Rep. Judd Matheny represents about one-third of the county.
Qualifying petitions for the Tennessee House of Representatives can be picked up beginning Jan. 3. The qualifying deadline is April 3 with the signatures of 25 registered voters in the 43rd District needed to get your name on the ballot.