Quebec's longest serving MNA announces retirement

François Gendron, who was first elected in 1976 alongside René Lévesque, is retiring from political life.

François Gendron, 72-year-old Parti Québécois MNA, won't run in October election

Parti Québécois MNA François Gendron was first elected in 1976. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

François Gendron, who was first elected in 1976 alongside René Lévesque, is retiring from political life. 

The 72-year-old Parti Québécois MNA confirmed Saturday he will not run in the fall election. He was the longest-serving member of the National Assembly, having been elected 11 times over 42 years.

Gendron has held various posts in the provincial government, including minister of education, natural resources and agriculture. He was also interim leader of the PQ and president of the National Assembly.

"I gave myself fully and completely, but I am very, very happy to have done so," he told supporters on Saturday when announcing his resignation.

The PQ is hoping to hold on to his riding of Abitibi-Ouest in the October provincial election.

PQ leader Jean-François Lisée said Gendron has a successor in mind.

"We know that there will be a great candidate who will take over and that François will support him," Lisée said.