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Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Long-serving Barre Town Rep. To Step Down

AP File/Toby Talbot
Rep. Tom Koch announced Tuesday that he would not seek another term. The longtime lawmaker is pictured here in May 2013, second from right. Also pictured, from left: Rep. Willem Jewett, Rep. Brian Savage, Rep. Don Turner and Rep. Robert Bouchard.

A long-serving and highly respected member of the Vermont House says he'll retire rather than seek re-election in the fall.

Representative Tom Koch of Barre Town received a more than one-minute standing ovation Tuesday after thanking his colleagues for his 22 years in the legislature.

“Today, to you personally, and through you, to all of the other members, staff and others with whom I’ve had the privilege of working over the course of nearly a quarter of a century I say thank you, Mr. Speaker", Koch said.

Koch, who is 71, has often been thought of as an important voice for the Republican Party in the House.