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State Rep. Royce Adams, D-Dry Ridge, withdrew Feb. 10 from his bid for a sixth term as legislator of the 61st District amid health-related issues.
The 73-year-old Adams announced he will retire from the legislature at the end of the year.
“I’ll finish my 20th year on Sept. 29,” he said. “That’s when I was sworn in back in 1992. I feel like I given what I need to give. I got some health issues that I’m dealing with. They say with the particular issue I got that stress is not good and it’s a bit stressful in Frankfort.”
Adams said he is not running away from a race, but rather age and health has caught up to him.
Among other issues, he will be having a foot operation sometime after the 2012 General Assembly resolves.
The decision was difficult, said Adams, who is endorsing Wanda Crupper Hammons to replace him.
“I planned on running,” he said. “This session has been very trying. I think that’s what woke me up to the fact that maybe now is the time to do it instead of waiting. I had really planned on going two more years at least.”
Adams has represented the citizens of Grant, Owen, and Gallatin counties since 1992.
He serves as vice-chair of the Agriculture and Small Business Committee.
Only 12 current legislators have served in the House of Representatives longer than Adams.
Adams was born in Grant County and graduated from Grant County High School.
He has been married for 53 years to Rita, and has two children, Carmen Hickerson and Melinda Lloyd, and three grandchildren: Noah, Taylor, and Benjamin.
Adams served as a staff sergeant in the US Army in the early 1960s.
He has owned and operated Adams Oil, located in Williamstown for 46 years.
Adams said he has been overwhelmed by the response he has received from his colleagues since his announcement.
“I’ve worked 20 years to build respect and trust with my colleagues,” he said. “It makes you feel good when they tell you that they’re going to miss you.”
Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he has enjoyed working with Adams and wishes him well in retirement.
“We have enjoyed a bipartisan working relationship and always strived to do what was right for Grant County,” he said.
Grant County Judge-Executive Darrell Link described Adams as “a highly respected legislator in Frankfort.”
“We have been very fortunate to have Rep. Adams advocate for Grant County for 20 years, and it may be a long time, if ever, before we have such an effective and esteemed leader in Frankfort again,” Link said. “Grant County and the 61st District has progressed in many areas thanks to the hard work of Rep. Royce Adams.”
Through his two decade tenure, Adams said he is proud of the many infrastructure projects he brought to Grant County.
Highlights of those projects include the connector road from Williamstown and Dry Ridge, a $750,000 grant for the Grant County Public Library, $400,00 for the Williamstown Senior Center, a new Williamstown bridge and progress on the Barnes Road expansion.
“I’ll miss my constituency,” Adams said. “I got, what I consider, to be a good relationship with the people that I serve. I believe they trust me to do what’s right. They’ve elected me for 20 years so evidently they must think I’m doing something right. I really feel like we accomplished quite a lot.”