Sen. Christopher Dodd, (D-Connecticut), is expected to hold a news conference Wednesday in his home state to announce that he won’t seek reelection for a sixth term, according to news reports.
Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who was the principal author of legislation that bailed out foundering Wall Street banks to the tune of $700 billion, will become the second Democratic senator in the past 24 hours to announce his retirement.
Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Byron Dorgan, (D-North Dakota), stunned colleagues and constituents by announcing his intention to retire in order to spend more time on personal endeavors.
According to the Washington Post, Dodd’s decision not to campaign for a sixth term means that Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, will likely run for the open seat and ensure that it remains in the hands of Democrats.
Blumenthal, the Post reported, is the “most popular politician in the state” and “has long coveted a Senate seat, and he had already signaled that he would run for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I) in 2012.”
Dodd, who ran for president last but dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses in 2007, was the most vulnerable among Democratic lawmakers facing reelection this year.
As the Post noted, it was reported last year that Dodd had “received special treatment in his acquisition of a mortgage loan from Countrywide Financial, through a program that labeled him and others as friends of Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo.”
“Dodd insisted he was unaware of his inclusion in the program, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Senate Ethics Committee, but the political damage was done,” the Post reported.