WASHINGTON – Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd, a five-term Democrat whose political stock began falling after the financial meltdown and his failed 2008 presidential bid, has decided not to seek re-election in November, Democratic officials told the Associated Press early today.
Dodd was expected to make an announcement today.
Word of his retirement comes hours after North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan announced he will not seek re-election. Dorgan, a moderate who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, said he reached the decision after discussing his future with family over the holidays.
Dodd, 66, is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which was at the center of efforts to deal with the economic meltdown. And he has played a prominent role in the debate over overhauling health care, taking over for his friend Ted Kennedy during his illness and then after his death.
Dodd, who has taken heat for a discounted VIP mortgage loan he got from a subprime lender, has been consistently behind potential GOP challenger Rob Simmons in Connecticut polls.
Among the early favorites to replace Dodd is longtime Connecticut state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.