Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced this morning he won't be seeking re-election in 2016, the New York Times reports. The Nevada senator, who reveals he's been thinking about retiring "for months," per the Times, says he's not ending his nearly 30 years in the Senate because he lost his seat as majority leader in November or because of the injuries he suffered during a Jan. 1 exercise session. But in a press release titled "Thank You," he acknowledges that the "accident has caused us for the first time to have a little down time. I have had time to ponder and to think." And the result of that thinking was the determination that it's time to go. "I want to be able to go out at the top of my game," he tells the Times. "I don't want to be a 42-year-old trying to become a designated hitter."
He also acknowledged he doesn't want to siphon campaign funds that could be used to help Democrats in hotly contested states take back Senate control from the GOP. "I think it is unfair for me to be soaking up all the money to be re-elected with what we are doing in Maryland, in Pennsylvania, in Missouri, in Florida," he tells the paper. "These are big, expensive states." Not that Reid plans on simply coasting by during his lame-duck period. "My friend, Senator McConnell, don't be too elated. I am going to be here for 22 months, and you know what I'm going to be doing? The same thing I've done since I first came to the Senate," he says in the release. Watch Reid's complete "Thank You" video, also released this morning.