Friday, February 18, 2011

Bingaman to retire and move to Santa Fe

After 28 years in Congress, Sen. Jeff Bingaman won't seek a sixth term in 2012, he said this afternoon at a press conference.

At the end of his term, Bingaman will have served 30 years in Washington.

"I believe it will be the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to serve the state," he said.

"It's not easy to get elected to the Senate. It's obviously not easy to make the decision to leave the Senate," he said.

Bingaman didn't really give an exact answer when asked why he was retiring, beyond that 2012 seemed like the right time.

He will move to Santa Fe, but doesn't have a plan sketched out for himself, he said.

"I’m not sure what we’re going to do. I’m not counting anything in or ruling anything out. I'm hoping to find other challenges to pursue but I haven’t settled in on what they are yet."

Bingaman's decision, so close to the retirement of Sen. Pete Domenici, leaves a great void of seniority in New Mexico's Congressional delegation. It also means another big Congressional race is just months away. Check out Saturday's New Mexican for our coverage and analysis on what Bingaman's choice means.

Update, 9:45 a.m.
Check out our coverage here and stay tuned for what are sure to be many more stories on who will seek the seat.

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