Byron Dorgan Not Running for Re-Election
I have been serving as an elected official in our state for many years. Beginning at age 26, I served ten years as State Tax Commissioner followed by thirty years in the U.S. Congress by the end of 2010. It has been a long and wonderful career made possible by the people of North Dakota. And I am forever grateful to them for the opportunity.
Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life. I have written two books and have an invitation from a publisher to write two more books. I would like to do some teaching and would also like to work on energy policy in the private sector.
So, over this holiday season, I have come to the conclusion, with the support of my family, that I will not be seeking another term in the U.S. Senate in 2010. It is a hard decision to make after thirty years in the Congress, but I believe it is the right time for me to pursue these other interests.
Dorgan’s 67 years old, an age where most Americans retire from full-time employment. But that’s young for a United States Senator. And, frankly, interest in reading his books — likely already quite low — will plummet once he no longer has any official power. One can’t help but speculate that recent polls showing him trailing Republican Governor John Hoeven by 19 to 22 points wasn’t a contributing factor in this decision.
But, as Chris Cillizza notes, these defections are likely bad news for Republicans. Alternative candidates without the baggage of Dorgan and Dodd will give the Democrats a much better chance of retaining those seats. Oh, and while two Dems have just created open seats, “Six Republicans Senators are not seeking re-election in November [emphasis mine].”