I write a lot about national and international stories, but today I want to talk about a good friend of mine who has decided to leave politics behind for a normal life after 30 years of public service.

Joe Kyrillos was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly 30 years ago as a 27 year-old man.

At the time, he was the youngest person to ever hold that post.

After two terms, he was elected to New Jersey State Senate and ended up staying there all the way up through this year, which will be his last.

I met Senator Kyrillos years ago and we immediately connected due to our shared love of this country and somewhat similar backgrounds.

The Senator is the son of Lebanese immigrants and I am the offspring of a Syrian mother and Pakistani father.

And policy wise, we were almost always on the same page, as the hallmark of his agenda was job growth and the economy, two things I am especially mindful of as a small businessman.

He did a terrific job fighting the good fight, helping to get positive legislation passed year after year despite an ever shifting ideology against both of our core ideals.

We both love New Jersey — it is our home — but over the years, we have unfortunately both become political outsiders in a state that seems to be trending more heavily Democrat and in favor of soaking its successful citizens and businesses with excessive taxes and regulation.

Senator Kyrillos fought all he could from the inside, but understandably, after 30 years he decided it was time to do good from the outside instead.

I am a businessman, philanthropist, and fundraiser for causes and politicians hold dear to my heart.

I have always been simpatico with the Senator on a wide variety of great philanthropic and political causes and I am looking forward to having him as an ally on the outside the same way I had him as an ally on the inside all these years.

Joe Kyrillos did a fantastic job in New Jersey public service for 30 years, but more importantly he has been a great man, a great friend, and a great husband and father to his family.

I am honored to call him a friend and wish him nothing but luck and happiness as he enters the next chapter of his life.