West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller announced he will not seek re-election on Friday, in the face of a possibly tough Republican challenge for his seat next year.
It was time to “bring more balance to my life after a career that has been so obsessively dominated by politics and public policy and campaigns,” Senator Rockefeller, 75, told the Associated Press.
“I’ve gotten way out of whack in terms of the time I should spend with my wife and my children and my grandchildren,” he said.
Republican Shelly Moore Capito, a popular seven-term congresswoman, announced last November that she would challenge Senator Rockefeller for his seat. Some polls indicated the incumbent would have a tough time being re-elected.
The moderate Republican has had to defend more liberal aspects of her voting record to fellow Republicans. She recently vowed to local Tea Party representatives to stand up to President Obama on the issue of West Virginia coal, push for federal spending cuts and preserve the Second Amendment.
Senator Rockefeller has suffered from health problems over recent years and his announcement comes with little surprise, notes the Wall Street Journal.
Senator Rockefeller will have spent five terms and 30 years in the U.S. Senate after retiring in 2014.