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Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, a steadfast LGBT ally, announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection in 2010.
The 10-term Democrat delivered a video message in which he explained his decision, citing difficulties of the past few years, particularly the death last August of his father and mentor, the late senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Kennedy said that while he will step down from office, he would continue to advocate for causes important to him.
"Going forward, I will continue many of the fights we've waged together, particularly on behalf of those suffering from depression, addiction, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder," he said.
The retirement marks the end, for now, of Kennedy family involvement in formal politics.
DC Agendaoffers a rundown of Patrick Kennedy's contributions to LGBT rights and legislation throughout his career.