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State Sen. Emmerson abruptly resigns

SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands) abruptly announced his resignation Friday, saying that after nine years in the Legislature  his passion for the job had waned and his constituents deserve better.

Emmerson’s departure, effective Dec. 1, comes after a series of elections in which Democrats in the Senate won a supermajority, significantly reducing the ability of Republican lawmakers to remain a force in the upper house.

“My nine years of service have been some of the most fulfilling years of my life.  It has been an honor to work alongside my colleagues in both the State Assembly and the state Senate — institutions that I hold in the highest regard,” Emmerson said in a statement posted on his website.

“But it’s time for me to move on,” he added. “I have always felt that one had to be passionate about their work.  In these past few months, my passion has waned and my constituents deserve a senator with the level of commitment that I once had.”

Emmerson, 68, said that his health is perfect and that he is satisfied with the work he has done.

An orthodontist in private life, Emmerson was elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving in the state Assembly. The resignation will require Gov. Jerry Brown to call a special election.

Emmerson was vice chairman of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee as well as the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. He also served as a member of the Senate Rules Committee, giving him a role in how the upper house operates.

Senate Republican leader Bob Huff said he was saddened by his colleagues resignation. "His thoughtful approach to policy making will be greatly missed," Huff said.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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