COLCHESTER, CT (WFSB) - A state representative announced on Friday that she will be resigning from office early next year.
Rep. Linda Orange said she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will need all of her energy devoted to her treatment.
Orange represents Colchester, Lebanon, Windham and Mansfield.
"I have enjoyed working with the people of the 48th District and with all of the towns that I have served over the years," she said in a statement. "Being your state representative for the past 23 years has been an honor and a joy."
Orange also issued a statement to her friends and colleagues in the House of Representatives.
"We have laughed a lot, we have agreed and disagreed and we have always come together to reach a compromise," she said. "I am very proud of the work that we have done together."
House speaker Rep. Joe Aresimowicz and House majority leader Rep. Matt Ritter called Orange a fierce legislator who stood tall for her constituents.
"Linda is a champion for eastern Connecticut and has an incredible depth of knowledge, especially on public safety issues," they said. "If an issue touches police or fire, we know to check in with Linda."
Gov. Ned Lamont called her the sunshine of the state capitol.
"[She is] equal parts optimistic, caring, humorous, and joyful, and her warmhearted laugh fills the room," Lamont said. "She is a vocal advocate on behalf of her constituents in eastern Connecticut and remains one of the most ardent champions supporting our state’s first responders. I am certain that this was a difficult decision and it is with great sadness that we received this news. We are grateful for the public service she has provided our state throughout her years in office.”
Orange said her resignation will go into effect on Feb. 1, 2020.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office said it received the resignation.
"Under state law, the governor has 10 days from when the 48th District seat becomes vacant to issue a writ of election for a special election," Merrill's office said. "That special election must be held on the 46th day after the issuance of the writ of election. Major party conventions must take place by 36 days before the special election."