Major announcement from Joyce Bowman: not seeking re-election

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Holding back the tears, with family at her side, District G councilwoman Joyce Bowman announces that she will not seek re-election.

"To the citizens of Shreveport and District G especially, thank you so much for your support through the years," says councilwoman Bowman. "We have made an excellent team."

The 57 year-old tough, yet compassionate, elected official was the first African-American woman to chair both the Caddo Commission and Shreveport City Council.

"She has been a very strong voice for the city and constituents, and Joyce has been a pleasure to work with," says fellow councilmember Monty Walford.

Another fellow councilmember also had kind words to say about

"Joyce brought a certain sensitivity and compassion and the ability and willingness to serve the people," says councilmember Joe Shyne.

"I have fought a good fight," says Bowman.

That fight included helping get a bonus for city employees and standing up for taxpayers.

But now another fight is on her hands. It's the reason her first term on the council will be her last.

"My most fervent prayer has been that God would allow me to finish my term. I'm almost there," says Bowman.

Bowman has rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition she was diagnosed with in 2008.   She says her condition is so severe, at times, she can't even write her name.

"The past two years have been a personal, physical battle for me," says Bowman.

And perhaps just as painful now, is her decision to step down, from public service; a service she loves so much.

As she rounded out her news conference, she expressed her appreciation.

"It's been great, and I have thoroughly enjoyed serving. Thank you so much for coming."

©2010 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved.