Jose Serrano

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Rep. Jose Serrano says he has Parkinson's, will retire

March 25, 2019 - 2:13 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Jose Serrano, a 16-term Democrat from the South Bronx, says he has Parkinson's disease and will retire at the end of his term.

The 75-year-old Serrano is a fixture in Bronx politics and is among Congress' foremost defenders of Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory where he was born.

He's chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the departments of Justice and Commerce, and he's pledging to use that post to _ in his words _ ``fight for climate change research, a fairer justice system, and an accurate 2020 census count.''

Serrano's announcement came shortly after a New York City councilman, Ritchie Torres, announced he'd run for the congressional seat in the strongly Democratic district.

In explaining his decision, Serrano says Parkinson's ``will eventually take a toll.''