INDIANAPOLIS - A high-ranking member of the Indiana House Republican Caucus has announced he will not run for re-election this year. State Representative Bill Friend (R-23), whose first year in the Statehouse was in 1992, is owner/operator of Friend Farms and president of Green Acres Ham LLC in Miami County.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) says Friend has "served as a strong voice for his constituents and rural communities across the state. His leadership and experience in the agricultural industry have proven to be a valuable asset. He's dedicated over 20 years to serving the public, and we will miss him and his expertise tremendously at the Statehouse. Bill is also a close friend and confidant, and I appreciate the great work he has done as a member of our leadership team. We wish Bill and Ann the very best as they pursue the next chapter in their lives."

Friend serves as House Speaker Pro Tempore and joins fellow House member Linda Lawson (D-1), who earlier this week announced she would not be seeking another term at the Statehouse. Other high profile legislators who have already left office recently or will be leaving at the end of the year include former Senate Majority Floor Leader Brandt Hershman (R-7), former House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-9), Rep. Charlie Brown (D-3), former Senator Luke Kenley (R-20) and former Rep. Mike Braun (R-63).