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Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) will join Byron Dorgan (D-ND) in retirement this year, according to a report published in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Word that Sen. Dodd, who had yet to announce his retirement, would be stepping down came from Democratic officials who requested anonymity, according to The New York Times.

The story was first reported by The Washington Post.

Word of Dodd's decision came mere hours after a staff memo written by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) revealed his plans to not seek re-election.

"After a lot of thought I have made the very difficult decision that I will not be seeking reelection in 2010," Dorgan wrote in the memo. "This decision is not a reflection of any dissatisfaction with my work in the Senate, nor is it connected to a potential election contest next fall (frankly, I believe if I were to run for another term I would be reelected)."

"Once among the safest of incumbents, Dodd's political star fell over a two-year period, during which he moved his family to Iowa to pursue the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and was linked to a VIP mortgage loan program overseen by a controversial Wall Street financier," the Post reported. "He also drew harsh questions about his oversight of Wall Street, as chair of the Senate Banking Committee, in the years when the nation's financial system was heading toward near collapse."

"On balance, Republicans today gained a foothold in North Dakota, and Democrats increased their likelihood of keeping their Senate seat in Connecticut," Marc Ambinder opined at The Atlantic. "Privately, senior White House officials have communicated to Dodd their belief that his position was untenable."

Mercury News added: "Among the early favorites to replace Dodd is longtime Connecticut state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is seen as one of the state's most popular politicians."

Dodd will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning to formally announce his decision, according to published reports.

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