Trent Lott to Resign

Senate's No. 2 Republican said to be stepping down before year's end
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2007 8:17 AM CST
Senate Minority Trent Lott of Miss., center, accompanied by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, left, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., gestures...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Trent Lott, the Senate's second-highest-ranking Republican, is resigning before the end of the year, the AP has learned. He will announce the decision later today in his home state of Mississippi. The reason for the resignation is unknown. There is nothing wrong with Lott’s health, a congressional official confirmed, saying the Republican whip had unspecified “other opportunities” to pursue.

Lott was re-elected just last year and given the whip post, completing a comeback from his ignominious ouster as majority leader five years ago over racially insensitive remarks. Mississippi’s GOP governor, Haley Barbour, will appoint an interim successor to Lott, until the 2008 elections, when voters will decide who serves the balance of the term. Lott is the sixth Republican Senator to retire this year.