Sen. Kent Conrad to Retire

North Dakota Democrat doesn't want to be distracted by campaign
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 18, 2011 11:16 AM CST

(Newser) – Sen. Kent Conrad will not run for re-election in 2012, he announced today, saying he will concentrate instead on reducing the national debt and dependence on foreign oil. "It is more important I spend my time and energy trying to solve these problems than to be distracted by a campaign for re-election," the North Dakota Democrat said in a statement to supporters. Conrad, 62, was elected to the Senate in 1986, and currently serves as the Budget Committee chairman.

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His announcement followed last year's decision by North Dakota's other Democratic senator, Byron Dorgan, not to seek re-election. Dorgan was replaced by Republican John Hoeven. Conrad, Dorgan, and former US Rep. Earl Pomeroy made up North Dakota's all-Democratic congressional delegation for 18 years. Pomeroy was defeated last November by Republican Rick Berg in a bid for his 10th term. (Read more Kent Conrad stories.)

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