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Congressman Lane Evans of Illinois to Retire

Representative Lane Evans, an Illinois Democrat who has battled Parkinson's disease for more than a decade, announced that he would not seek re-election. Mr. Evans, who served 12 terms, said in a statement that he had "come to recognize that the time needed to address my health makes it difficult to wage a campaign and carry out my work as representative." Mr. Evans has not been able to attend Congressional meetings or cast votes since receiving medical treatment on Feb. 14, according to his office. Mr. Evans represents the 17th Congressional District, which encompasses Moline, Rock Island and parts of Springfield and is certain to be competitive in November.

Statement of Congressman Lane Evans on Future Plans

This is a tough day for me. I am announcing that I will not run for reelection and will retire at the end of my current term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

When I announced in 1998 that I had Parkinson's Disease, my doctor said that this condition would not interfere with my work and that I would be able to perform at a high level for a number of years. That window of opportunity is now closing.

I fully expected that I would continue my work for the foreseeable future following this current break from the office. But I have come to recognize that the time needed to address my health makes it difficult to wage a campaign and carry out my work as representative. I will return soon and to the best of my ability complete the important work of this term in my roles as representative and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

This decision is especially tough because this job means so much to me. I believe strongly in serving people and working to make a positive difference in their lives. Every day has been rewarding and I'm proud of what I've been able to accomplish and the fights I've made.

I thank my family and everyone who has worked with me -- great friends, terrific colleagues, a dedicated staff, fellow vets. And I appreciate the support of people I never met before who would ask how I was doing and tell me to keep up the good fight. I'll be doing that in the weeks and months ahead and look forward to thanking every one of you personally for all you have meant to me.

To my constituents and veterans across this country, it is an honor and privilege to represent you.

Semper Fi,

Lane Evans

Statement from Robin Elliott, Executive Director of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation:

Congressman Lane Evans has been a true hero to the Parkinsonís community and to the many millions of Americans who live with chronic disabilities. For more than 20 years Ė half of them following a diagnosis of Parkinsonís disease Ė Congressman Evans has served in his constituents in the 17th District of Illinois Ė and the nation as a whole - with dignity, integrity and purpose. For any lawmaker, his career and accomplishments in Congress would be considered exemplary. For one who has shouldered these responsibilities while living, uncomplainingly, with a steadily degenerating chronic disease, his record is quite astonishing.

His many friends in the Parkinsonís community and beyond wish him many happy years in retirement and hope that they will continue to be able to call on him for the kind of advice and inspiration he gave to them so generously while he was in public office.

Source Date: Mar 28 2006
Source Publication: Associated Press