State Sen. Jennie M. Forehand, a veteran liberal Democrat from Montgomery County, has announced she will retire from the General Assembly after her current term -- avoiding a certain primary fight.

First elected to the Senate in 1994 after 16 years in the House of Delegates, Forehand is among the longest-serving members of the legislature.

Forehand, 78, narrowly eked out a primary victory in 2010 when challenged by former Del. Cheryl Kagan in the Democratic primary. This year she would have faced competition from both Kagan and Del. Luiz R. S. Simmons in the June 24 primary.