Changing of the guard in the state senate

Columbia, (WACH) - After 32 years of serving in the South Carolina senate, Sumter Democrat Phil Leventis says the time is right to call it a career.

"I'm 66, so it was a good time for me. You can't stay here until everything is done because everything is never done."

Leventis wants to spend time with his grandkids, fly and teach while he still can, and he isnâ??t the only senior member leaving the chamber.

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SC Senator Land will not seek re-election

Longtime SC state senator to retire

Leventis won't seek re-election

Fellow Democrat Minority Leader John Land of Clarendon County and Aiken Republican Greg Ryberg are not seeking re-election. Thatâ??s nearly 90 years of experience between the men.

"The most important thing is the loss of institutional knowledge and memory,â?? said University of South Carolina Political Scientist Mark Thompkins. â??These folks, both on the Republican and Democratic side know an awful lot about the workings of state government."

"I'm available to help in anyway I can, but it's time to let a younger generation get in here and begin to make a difference as they always do,â?? adds Leventis.

Leventis says he'd like to see more diversity in the senate and is disappointed there are no women currently serving.

Of the 10 women that have been elected to the senate Leventis has served with 8 of them.