WASHINGTON – Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a liberal Democrat and a champion for Americans with disabilities, announced Saturday that he will not run for re-election next year, saying that 40 years in Congress is enough.
Harkin’s retirement gives Republicans a chance to pick up a Senate seat during next year’s midterm election. They need to gain six seats to take control of the Senate. But Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Harkin’s early announcement gave the party ample time to recruit a strong candidate.
Harkin, 73, made the announcement in his hometown of Cumming, Iowa. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1974 and in 1984 won election to the Senate, where he has served since.
“After 40 years, I just feel it’s somebody else’s turn,” Harkin said.