SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State Representative Benjamin Swan is calling it quits, more than two decades after he first took office.

The 82-year-old was first elected to the 11th Hampden District back in 1994. He has served the district for the past 22 years.

Swan told 22News although he made great memories in Boston over the years, his favorite memories were right here in Springfield, with his community. “Just a lot of memories, meeting people, beautiful people, children, reading to children, talking to children,” he said.

Swan was surrounded by supporters when he announced his retirement on Tuesday, calling his 11 terms in the legislature the greatest honor of his life.

Lifelong Springfield resident Lorraine Babij told 22News she’ll be sad to see Swan go. “He’s honest, and that’s very important because if you have a dishonest person, it’s not good, especially in politics,” she said.

Eleanor Fuller described Swan as a class-act, an example of what a politician should be like. “Very down to earth, number one, and very knowledgeable about the community, so I guess those are the things I really enjoyed about him. I didn’t hear him say one negative thing about anything or anybody,” she said.

Five candidates are running for the 11th Hamden District seat, including Swan’s son, Benjamin Swan Jr. That district  includes large portions of central Springfield, including all of the Bay, McKnight, Old Hill, and Upper Hill neighborhoods, most of Pine Point, and portions of East Springfield, Six Corners, East Forest Park, Forest Park, and Sixteen Acres.