Senior New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici is expected to announce today that he won't seek reelection next year. The Republican lawmaker, 75, has been in the Senate for 35 years—six terms. His retirement sparks renewed hope among Democrats that they could capture a key seat in a state where they have made significant gains over the last several years.
Domenici hasn't given a reason for the retirement, but it's reportedly health-related. Domenici suffers from arthritis and has been looking frail. He's also been caught up in the US attorneys scandal and remains the subject of an ethics inquiry. Domenici has been one of the Senate's most senior Republicans for years and was chairman or a ranking member of the budget committee for 22 years.