Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid is retiring from the Senate.
“We have to make sure that the Democrats take control of the Senate again,” he said in a YouTube video announcing he will not seek re-election. “And I feel it is inappropriate for me to soak up all those resources on me, when I could be devoting those resources to the caucus.”
“My friend Sen. McConnell, don’t be too elated,” he added. “I am going to be here for 22 months and you know what I’m going to be doing, the same thing I’ve been doing since I first came to the Senate.”
Reid has represented Nevada in the Senate since 1987, and has led Senate Democrats since 2005. He insists his decision is not related to an injury he suffered in January, or to his most recent loss of power in the Senate.
“The decision I have made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, has nothing to do with my being minority leader, and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be re-elected because the path to re-election is much easier than probably has been any time that I’ve run for re-election,” he said.
Reid told The New York Times he might have retired sooner, if Republicans hadn’t made such a point of trying to unseat him in his last election.
“I want to be able to go out at the top of my game,” Reid told the Times. “I don’t want to be a 42-year-old trying to become a designated hitter.”
Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are top contenders for the open minority leader spot.