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Story Archives: Ellington bows out
|Ellington bows out|
Rep. Noble Ellington announced Monday he would not run for re-election this fall.
Ellington said he was honored to represent the people of northeast Louisiana in Baton Rouge, but the time was right to step aside and pursue interests outside of public service.
"It's been 24 years," Ellington said. "I'm certainly not a young man anymore and I feel I'm ready to come back to a more normal life."
"It's been a wonderful ride and I feel that I have done a decent job," Ellington said. "I've had the opportunity to serve some great people and have made some great friends, including five governors."
"It's something that I have thought a lot about and prayed a lot about," Ellington added. "I just think it's time."
A 69 year-old Republican from Winnsboro who spent years in the Legislature as an influential Democrat on several House and Senate committees, Ellington surprised some constituents by switching his party affiliation in December.
Ellington was first elected to the House in 1987, defeating Rod Elrod, in a runoff election for the District 20 seat. He remained in the House until 1996.
Ellington was elected to the Senate in fall elections in 1995, and served three consecutive terms representing Senate District 32 from 1996-2008. Term limits, which were enacted in the mid 1990s, forced Ellington to give up his Senate seat.
Ellington returned to the House in 2008, after a close race for his old District 20 seat in the fall 2007 elections. He nearly ascended to the No. 2 leadership position of Speaker Pro-Tempore.
Rep. Joel Robideaux, an Independent from Lafayette, was preferred by Speaker of the House Jim Tucker and was eventually selected for the position over Ellington.
Ellington has been recognized for his work to improve infrastructure in northeast Louisiana, including the four-laning of La. Highway 15 and U.S. Highway 165 and construction of new bridges over the Ouachita, Tensas and Black rivers.
He was instrumental in helping build the Franklin Parish and Catahoula Parish Council on Aging and the formation of the Louisiana Rural Hospital Coalition. Ellington also helped secure money for the Jack Hammons Community Center and renovations of the Old Post Office Museum and Princess Theatre in Winnsboro.
Last year, Ellington was named chairperson of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a national economic development organization comprised of legislators. He has been a member of the organization since 1990.
Ellington's future plans include helping his sons, Ryan and Noble Ellington III, run his cotton business, Noble Ellington Cotton Co. Inc.
He also plans to spend more time with his grandchildren.
"My family is very important to me," Ellington said. "I just want to have time with them and be a better grandfather."