Senate Banking Chief Johnson Announces Retirement

The South Dakota senator will not run for re-election in 2014

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Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. (left), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, held a press conference in his home state Tuesday afternoon to announce that he will not run for re-election when his current term ends in 2014.

A three-term senator, Johnson, 66, said in comments from his alma mater, the University of South Dakota, that he would be 68 years-old at the end of this term and that it is time for him to say good-bye. "I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate in 2014 or any other office.  I look forward to serving the remaining two years as the country is facing difficult times on many fronts and I will work every day to find a bipartisan solution to these challenges."

As the Sioux Falls, S.D., paper reported, Johnson, who took over as the Senate Banking chairman in 2011, has struggled with health issues since a 2006 brain hemorrhage that left his speech and movement impaired. As Johnson said in comments Tuesday afternoon, "you have supported me in multiple elections, and, more importantly, your patience and prayers enabled me to recover from a life-threatening brain injury."

One challenger for his Senate seat is Republican former governor Mike Rounds, the paper says. Several other Democrats and Republicans are reportedly considering running for Senate if Johnson retires, including Johnson’s son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, the paper reported.

In line to be next chairman of the banking committee is Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., however Reed is reported to be stepping into a leadership role held by retiring Sen. Carl Levin’s seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Next in line to be at the Senate Banking Committee’s helm would be Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, followed by Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and then Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

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