Barbara Boxer bows out of 2016 senate race

Four-term U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, will not run for re-election next year, she announced Thursday morning.

In a video interview with her oldest grandson, Zach Rodham, Boxer said she would not seek a fifth term in the Senate but was emphatic that she was not retiring from political work.

Instead, she will focus on the activities of her political action committee, “PAC for a Change,” getting Democratic candidates elected to Congress, and supporting her party’s next presidential nominee.

Boxer, 74, said in the video:

“Age not a factor — some people are old at 40 and some people are young at 80. It depends on the person. As for me, I feel as young as I did when I got elected.”

She has held public office since she was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 1976, where she was the board’s first woman president. For six years, she served on the Board of Supervisors, until she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 for a district that at the time encompassed Marin County.

She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992. But after more than three decades in Washington, Boxer said:

“I want to come home. I want to come home to the state I love so much — California.”

Boxer closed her video announcement with a poem:

“The Senate is the place where I’ve always made my case for families, for the planet and the human race. More than 20 years in a job I love thanks to California and the lord above. So although I won’t be working for my Senate space and I won’t be running in that next tough race, as long as there are issues and challenges and strife, I will never retire, because that’s the meaning of my life.”