Rep. Johnnie Turner announces retirement

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Friday morning, inside the building for the Memphis chapter of NAACP, Rep. Johnnie Turner (D-Memphis) announced it was time to retire after eight years in office.

"This is to officially announce that I am retiring as state representative for District 85," Rep. Turner said. "My official last day would be November after the general election."

She admitted she tried to make the move two years ago but leadership talked her out of it.

"They say, 'You can't go, Johnnie. You are the conscious of the legislature. You the one we can depend on to stand up to speak out against those issues that negatively impact our people,'" Turner said.

WMC Action News 5's Tiffany Neely asked if the upcoming 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death held any influence in her decision.

"I've become very emotional about that. I thought about that this morning, and it just sent chills through my body. Maybe in some small way the Lord is saying I've got some other ambassadors. It's time for you to go home sister and take some rest," Turner said

"You know I'm not going to rest," she added, laughing.

Right now, Turner is working on an endorsement for a potential successor, but she has some advice for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.

"Tell them to have a conviction, to have a God, to have compassion, and to have perseverance," she said.

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