Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, elected as an Independent in 2006, has announced he will not run for a fifth term.
On Tuesday in Stamford, Connecticut, the Senator spoke to a crowd surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren.
"At the end of this term," he said, "I will have served 24 years in the U.S. Senate and 40 years in elective office." Making a biblical reference, Lieberman added, "For me, it is time for another season and another purpose under Heaven."
After losing a race in the primaries for a Democratic Senate seat in 2006, he ran as an Independent in a three-way race and won. While serving in the Senate, he continued to caucus with Democrats, but supported Republican Presidential candidate John McCain in 2008.
In a nod to his bipartisan efforts he said, "I have not always fit comfortably into conventional political boxes, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. I have always thought that my first responsibility is not to serve a political party but to serve my constituents, my state, and my country, and then to work across party lines to make sure good things get done for them."
Lieberman spoke proudly of his service, mentioning his successes under four administrations to strengthen homeland security and to promote equal opportunity for African Americans, women, and gay and lesbian Americans.
As for the future, Sen. Lieberman said he will focus his energy on finishing up his term in the U.S. Senate. He was vague as to what would follow, but said the end of his Senate term will not be the end to his public service.
"I will keep doing everything in my power to build strong bridges across party lines," he said, "to keep our country safe, to win the wars we are in, and to make sure America's leadership on the world stage is principled and strong."
Former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, a Democrat, said on Tuesday that she will run in 2012 for Lieberman's Senate seat.