U.S. Rep. José E. Serrano revealed Monday that he has been living with Parkinson’s disease, and announced he will not seek re-election in 2020.
In a letter posted on his official website, the 75-year-old Bronx leader said he originally intended to keep working despite his diagnosis, however he now cannot commit past his current term.
"I’ve come to the realization that Parkinson’s will eventually take a toll, and that I cannot predict its rate of advancement. Because of this uncertainty, I do not intend to seek re-election in 2020," he said in the letter.
Serrano, who was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the Bronx as a child, served in the state Assembly from 1975 to 1990. He was elected to the House of Representatives in a special election in 1990, and succeeded Robert García.
He is currently the longest-serving Puerto Rican member of Congress, according to his office.
Bronx Borough President Rubéen Díaz Jr. praised Serrano for his decades of work.
"He is a trailblazer in every sense of the word. I salute the congressman’s service, and I wish him nothing but the best in his fight against Parkinson’s disease," he said in a statement.
Serrano said he will use the rest of his tenure to focus on issues important to the South Bronx, including a fair and accurate 2020 Census.
"I pledge to my constituents that I will be here fighting for you until my last day in office and beyond. I am grateful to all my colleagues for their dedication to our community, and for the years we spent working together on so many important issues," he said.