ACCOMAC, Va. (WAVY) – Longtime Eastern Shore state Sen. Lynwood Lewis announced Monday that he would not seek re-election in a newly-redrawn Senate District 20.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the General Assembly, first as a delegate and, for the past decade, as the senator from Accomack,” Lewis said in a letter announcing his decision. “I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past many years together.

“I am grateful to every person who has supported me and those who have worked alongside my office, my campaigns and me towards the common goal of a better Commonwealth for all Virginians.”

Lewis was first elected in 2004 to fill the seat vacated by longtime Del. Bob Bloxom, serving as a delegate for 10 years and then ran for the unexpired seat of then state Sen. Ralph Northam in the 6th District, winning by nine votes against Republican Wayne Coleman.

In a Facebook post with the letter attached, Lewis took pride in representing the Eastern Shore – his lifetime home – and noted he had appreciated being able to represent vastly different areas of the state, from Matthews County on the Middle Peninsula to the city of Norfolk.

“I was born on the Shore, grew up on the Shore and returned to the Shore after leaving to go to college & attend law school to practice law and start my family,” Lewis said in his post. “I’ve raised my son on the Shore, grown my law practice on the Shore and there has been no greater honor than serving as an elected representative from the most beautiful place in the Commonwealth.

“Thank you for the privilege, and I please know our office is still here and still working diligently for the people of the Sixth Senate District.

He said he has always sought common ground “even in times of turmoil.”

“I am most grateful for this, for during a time of increasing polarization and rising distrust of each other, our governments and those who do not think or look like us,” Lewis wrote, “I have borne witness to the reality that we are all more alike than we are different. … At the end of the day, we all hope for livelihoods that both provide and fulfill us, want safe communities for our families and good schools for our children.”