US Sen. Jeff Bingaman has announced that he will retire in 2012. Take our poll on who you favor to replace him.
Bingaman's office has announced a press conference at 1:30 pm today in Albuquerque "to discuss his retirement plans."
Scroll down to take our POLL of who you'd like to see fill Bingaman's seat; there's already plenty of speculation on who will take his place.
From Bingaman's press office, his prepared remarks (click here for audio):
Today I am announcing that I will not run next year for election for a sixth term in the United States Senate.
Representing the people of New Mexico in the Senate is a great honor, and a great responsibility which I have enjoyed for over 28 years.
At the end of this Congress, I will have been in public service for thirty-four years--four as New Mexico’s Attorney General, and thirty in the United States Senate.
The end of this Congress is the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to serve.
It is not easy to get elected to the Senate, and it is not easy to decide to leave the Senate.
There is important work that remains to be done. That is true today, and it will be the case at the end of this Congress. It will be true at the end of every future Congress as well. The simple truth is, there is no ideal time to step aside.
I am proud of my service in the Senate, and the work of my staff in New Mexico and Washington who have shared in the trust given by the people of New Mexico. My family, and that fine staff, have made my service possible. We will continue to serve the people of New Mexico through the remainder of this Congress which has just begun.
When I started in the Senate in 1983, and Anne, John and I moved to Washington, we never considered it a permanent move. We have always considered New Mexico our home, and have cherished the time we have been able to spend here over the last three decades. At the end of this term, we will come home to New Mexico to live, and to pursue other challenges.