And so, after a 12-year run, it ends.

Congresswoman Darlene Hooley surprised many late last week with her announcement that she will not seek re-election when her term expires next January.

The West Linn Democrat has represented the sprawling 5th Congressional District for more than a decade.

As both Democrats and Republicans clamor to anoint someone to replace Hooley, it's a good time for us to do the obvious: Tell the long-time politician thanks for all of her efforts in trying to represent a district that is nothing if not divided politically.

The sheer mental and physical effort extended by Hooley as she strived to be both a force in Washington, D.C., and return to her district as much as possible is no small matter.

Her work in support of American troops, fighting methamphetamine on the local front and trying to combat identity theft are among the areas the former teacher is most known for.

She served on the West Linn Park District Board and the West Linn City Council as well as in the Oregon Legislature and as a Clackamas County commissioner before moving up to her federal post.

We thank Darlene Hooley for her service to our area of Oregon and wish her Godspeed in her future endeavors.

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