Harry Reid, the 75-year-old six-term Nevada senator who has led Senate Democrats since 2005 and currently serves as minority leader, announced Friday that he will not run for re-election in 2016. New York Sen. Charles Schumer is considered the favorite to take over Reid’s party leadership position. From the New York Times:
Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.
Reid added that avoiding a high-profile Republican challenge to his re-election in Nevada would allow Democrats to divert campaign money to other potentially competitive races, in Maryland, Florida, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. In Maryland, long-serving Democratic Sen. Barbara Milkulski is retiring; in Missouri and Pennsylvania, Republicans Roy Blunt and Pat Toomey are running for re-electon; in Florida, Marco Rubio may be vacating his seat for a presidential run.
A statement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee said Reid is now “irrelevant and a lame duck.”