U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) will not run for re-election next year. New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator has decided to call it quits.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (Jeff Fusco, Getty Images)

In a statement released this afternoon, Lautenberg says,

“I will be traveling to my hometown of Paterson tomorrow to announce that I will not seek re-election in 2014. This is not the end of anything, but rather the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals, and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey. While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I'm going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate."

“Senator Frank Lautenberg has been an extraordinary public servant, representing the people of New Jersey in the United States Senate for five terms.  New Jersey is better for having had Senator Lautenberg represent us in Washington and I thank him for his service,” says Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the New Jersey democratic State Committee. “I look forward to his work over the next two years, as he continues to lead the fight for responsible, common-sense gun legislation and federal funding for the important transportation infrastructure projects our state needs.”