Sen. Jay Rockefeller will not run for re-election in 2014, putting the longtime Democratic seat in deeply Republican West Virginia up for grabs, reports Politico. The chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is expected to formally announce his decision, which he confirmed to Politico, this morning. “It was a very hard decision for me," says the 75-year-old Rockefeller.
Rockefeller was born in New York City in 1937, the great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller. After graduating from Harvard, Rockefeller traveled to West Virginia in 1964 as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, and quickly developed a passion for the state. "I was looking for a cause," he says. "I was looking for a mission, I was looking for something that would possess me, which would make really proud, something that was hard every day and was uphill, and it wasn’t going to be on Wall Street." After serving in state politics for many years, including eight as governor, he was elected to the Senate in 1984.