Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he will not seek re-election to another term, saying he wanted to focus on bringing Democrats back to power in the Senate rather than his own re-election.
Reid, 75, said in a statement that it would be "inappropriate for me to soak up all those resources when I could be devoting those resources to the caucus, and that's what I intend to do.''
Reid, first elected to the Senate in 1986, was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in a swing state. He turned back a challenge in 2010.
His announcement is sure to set in motion a scramble in the Senate's Democratic leadership lineup between his top two deputies, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat, issued a statement praising Reid for "his strength, his legislative acumen, his honesty and his determination.''
Reid, in his statement, also mentioned the Jan. 1 exercising accident that left him badly bruised and struggling to regain sight in his right eye, saying it gave him time to think about his political future.
"We've got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than about ourselves,'' Reid said. "And as a result of that I'm not going to run for re-election.''