Mark Drakeford is the current first minister of Wales. A position that could be roughly equated with the governor of a U.S. state or premier of a Canadian province. He took over the role after being selected as the leader of the Welsh Labour political party.

It's been expected for quite some time that Drakeford would step aside as first minister before the next election. Whether connected or not, a few months after a devastating personal loss, he has made another professional announcement.

Will not run for re-election to the Senedd

Mark Drakeford is not standing as a candidate for another term in the Senedd.

The Senedd Cymru, also known as the Welsh Parliament, oversees deals with matters devolved from the national Parliament. The date of the next Senedd election has not yet been confirmed. But by law, it must be by 2026 at the latest.

Drakeford hinted at a concern that his continued presence in the legislature might affect his successor as first minister. Saying in part that it would be "difficult" for them "to have people like me sitting behind them." But Drakeford says that he does intend to remain politically active, even if he doesn't hold an official office. "I am not going to step back from the debate or stop thinking about Wales' future," he said.

Drakeford's first elected office was as a member of the council for the no-longer-existent South Glamorgan County.

He went on to become chairman of the council's education committee.

Drakeford first ran for what was then the National Assembly for Wales in 1999 in the Cardiff Central constituency. He lost to Liberal Democrat Jenny Renderson. Renderson later becomes deputy first minister of Wales and a figure in the premiership of Conservative UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Later, Drakeford was a staffer for First Minister Rhodri Morgan. In 2011, he was elected to succeed Morgan in the Assembly from the constituency of Cardiff West. Drakeford went on to hold multiple Cabinet roles under First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Jones resigned as first minister and Welsh Labour leader in late 2018. Drakeford won the race to be the next party leader.

Effectively also making him the next first minister. In 2021, he led the party to victory in the Senedd election.

His wife passed away earlier this year

Mark Drakeford married Clare Buckle in 1977. They would have three children. In early 2023, Clare died suddenly.

Various political figures in the United Kingdom were quick to offer prayers and condolences. As were the Prince and Princess of Wales. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak noted how committed the couple was to each other.

Drakeford is a native of Carmarthen in southwestern Wales. He was educated in England at the University of Kent and the University of Exeter. Eventually, he became a faculty member at what is now Swansea University and Cardiff University.