KS-Sen: Brownback Set to Make Retirement from Senate Official
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:09:54 PM EST
We've seen this one coming down the pike for a long while, but soon it will be official:
Sen. Sam Brownback will announce Thursday he is retiring from the Senate when his term ends in 2010, allowing the Kansas Republican to explore a run for governor.
He will be the second GOP senator this year to publicly state he is leaving at the close of the 111th Congress.
Brownback, who unsuccessfully sought the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, will not reveal his future political plans during the three news conferences planned for Thursday in Kansas. But a source close to Brownback said he will file gubernatorial paperwork in January.
The Democrats actually have a couple of potentially strong candidates for this open-seat race, with popular Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius removing her name from contention for the Obama cabinet and Congressman Dennis Moore, who has consistently won in a fairly Republican-leaning district, not running for reelection. Neither of the two Democrats would be favorites if they jumped in -- but they would clearly make the race competitive, despite the fact no Democrat has won a Senate election in the state since FDR was first elected.