Aug. 3, 2006 — Residents voting in the September primary will find one less familiar face on their ballot slips, as Sen. Roosevelt C. David announced Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election to the Legislature in the fall.
At a press conference held at Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall on St. Thomas, David said, "I never intended to make the Legislature a lifelong career. I intended to give a portion of my life to public service, and I have done that well. My tenure has been a rewarding one I came to this Legislature with clean hands and I leave with my integrity."
"I told myself that the 23rd Legislature was going to be my last run, but I stayed for the 24th, then the 25th and now the 26th," he added after the conference. "I have been in here for 10 years and that's enough. This is it–it's time for me to go now. I'm going to take a much-needed break with my family, and after that I will review my options."
During the conference, David outlined several of his legislative accomplishments, including the development of the micro-credit loan program and the implementation of GARVEE bonds legislation, which leveraged federal funds to build facilities on both St. John and St. Thomas. "While my work is not yet completely done, I challenge other capable individuals to take up the charge, because there's much work left to be done," he said to a group of friends and family.
"I thank my colleagues for their support–I'm going to miss them," he added to the small group of senators in attendance.
"You left, on this institution, a mark that's irreplaceable," responded Sen. Ronald E. Russell. "And we will miss you, too. You're leaving the Senate at the top of your game–few of will be able to move on in such an exemplary manner."
Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. added to Russell's statements by reminiscing on the times he and David had prior to being elected to the Senate. "We've been friends for many, many years," he said. "And if there's one thing we know, it's that if Sen. David has to stand alone on an issue, he will do it. He has always refused to hold a grudge; he deals with his work without animosity and comes in the next day like nothing ever happened. He's taught us that politics is not always about what you see and what you hear–it's about what's in your heart."
David replaced White as the Senate's majority leader when the Legislature was reorganized earlier this year.
Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone also shared some fond memories of David. "Sen. David has always been one of the biggest influences in my career," he said. "When I started out with the young Democrats–every time there was something for Sen. David, I was there. He has given numerous contributions though his leadership to the community, things that are truly going to have lasting effects on us all."
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