WASHINGTON — Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, the embattled Connecticut Democrat who was facing an increasingly tough bid for a sixth term in the Senate, has decided to step aside and not seek re-election, Democrats familiar with his plans said early today.
Dodd, 65, will announce his decision at a news conference today in Connecticut.
The decision came a day after another Democratic senator, Byron Dorgan, also announced that he would not seek re-election this November. That decision was a blow to Democrats and offered an immediate opening to Republicans.
Dodd was already considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing re-election this November, and party officials had been privately hoping he would step aside.
His decision was first reported by the Washington Post and later confirmed by his associates.
Dorgan, a moderate who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after serving a dozen years in the House, said he reached the decision after discussing his future with family.
"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," Dorgan, 67, said in a statement.
Colorado governor plans to retire
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter won't run for re-election this fall, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing Democratic sources. The first-term Democrat was elected in 2006 in a pivotal swing- voting state and was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.