After nearly half a century as a California elected official, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer says he’s ready to retire.
"I just feel like I need a new challenge," Lockyer told Capital Public Radio. "There’s lots of work still to be done there, and there’ll be able people doing it. For me, I need to think of something new, and it’s kind of that simple."
Lockyer will be a guest on Capital Public Radio's Insight Tuesday morning at 10am.
Lockyer spent 25 years as a Democratic state lawmaker, including four leading the California Senate. After finally being termed out, he ran for Attorney General, then Treasurer.
He says one of his proudest achievements is modernizing the state’s use of DNA as Attorney General. "We were catching about one criminal a year using DNA when I first got elected in 1998. It took a few years to get rid of the backlog, but then that became 20 or 30 a day."
Looking back over his 46-year career, Lockyer says the state’s more polarized than it used to be. "We look for the overlapping areas of common interest and philosophy – that’s sort of the art in politics. It seems like that was easier to do 30 years ago."
He also calls the initiative process a "mixed blessing" and laments that term limits have forced out lawmakers who were experts in policy areas.
Lockyer has had some challenges in his personal life recently. He filed for divorce after his wife struggled with substance abuse and admitted an affair. But he’s since withdrawn the papers and hopes to reconcile.