Rep. Whit Betts
Rep. Whit Betts

Long-serving Bristol Republican, Rep. Whit Betts said Wednesday he would not seek re-election next year after more than a decade in office, citing a belief in term limits for elected officials.

Betts made the announcement in a press release, saying he looked forward to moving on to a new chapter in his life. Betts was first elected to the House in 2010 and has won six terms representing Bristol and Plymouth by comfortable margins.

“Although I have not yet finalized what I’ll be doing, I am looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead,” he said. “A contributing factor in my decision was also my strong support and belief in term limits for elected officials. By stepping aside now, new candidates will come forward to run for this position.”

In a statement, House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora praised Betts as a forthright and effective representative.

“Over the years Whit has proven himself as a no-nonsense legislator with a real knack for expressing the feelings and concerns of his constituents in a manner that really resonates with his colleagues here in the House of Representatives, where the easiest solutions often take a back seat to the bureaucratic ones,” Candelora said.

Betts will serve out the rest of his current term, which runs through the end of next year. According to the press release, he won several awards during his tenure in the legislature including the Hands & Hearts award from Wheeler Clinic and a Bristol Hospital Champion Award.