WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said Thursday that he won’t seek re-election next year to a third term and isn’t running for another office.
Leone, a high-profile state and federal prosecutor who led the 2003 prosecution of attempted airline shoe bomber Richard Reid, said he announced his decision to staff Thursday night at an annual awards dinner. He said his last three predecessors haven’t run for third terms, and he’s announcing his decision now to allow potential successors time to plan.
‘‘I said what I meant, and meant what I said, when I stated that this job was the only elected office that I wanted,’’ Leone said.
Leone said that he doesn’t know what he will do once he leaves office but that he won’t work in government service again.
‘‘These decisions are, and should be, predicated upon what is best for the person and their family,’’ he said. ‘‘What is best for me and my family is that I not seek another term.’’
Leone, a Democrat, was elected district attorney of Middlesex County, a populous suburban area north and west of Boston that includes Cambridge, in 2006, and re-elected without opposition in 2011. His tenure has included prosecutions of the drug robbery-slaying of a nonstudent in a Harvard University dorm in 2010 and the 2011 manslaughter trial of Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s brother for their father’s death.
As first assistant and anti-terrorism coordinator for the state U.S. attorney’s office from 2001 to 2005, Leone helped investigate the 9/11 terror attacks launched from Boston and led the prosecution of Reid, who unsuccessfully tried to blow a trans-Atlantic flight out of the sky using elaborately concealed explosives.
He was chief of the state attorney general’s criminal bureau from 1999 to 2001 and has been an assistant district attorney in Middlesex and Suffolk counties. He was lead prosecutor in the 1997 trial of British au pair Louise Woodward, a teenager convicted of killing an 8-month-old in her care in Newton.
Leone’s announcement comes at a time of a shifting political environment in Massachusetts. The nomination of Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state has led to speculation about a special election to fill Kerry’s seat. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey is the only announced Democratic candidate, but two other Boston-area congressmen, Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano, are possible contenders. Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who lost in November to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, is weighing a run on the Republican side.