South Dakota Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election at the end of his present term. According to the New York Times, Johnson made his announcement at a press conference in Vermillion, South Dakota.


"I will be 68 years old at the end of this term and it’s time for me to say goodbye,” said the Senator. He thanked his family and Senate staff and added "The Bible says that there is a time for every season under heaven. It is now our season to spend more time with our six grandchildren and in the state we love.”

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) released a statement praising his colleague, "The people of South Dakota could not have asked for a better advocate in the U.S. Senate than Tim. He has looked after the wellbeing of South Dakotans and all Americans in a tireless and unselfish manner. When he was struck by two life-threatening conditions, Tim soldiered on and continued doing the people’s work. He has been an example of resiliency to people all over the nation."

Reid concluded, “Tim will be missed when he leaves after 2014. I wish him and his wife Barbara the best as they open the next chapter in their life."

Johnson suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage in 2006, but recovered enough to run for re-election in 2008. He was first elected to the Senate in 1996 after five terms as a U.S. Representative.

Republicans are eyeing opening of a Senate seat in the mostly red state of South Dakota as a chance to achieve a majority in the Senate. Democrats, on the other hand, believe that they can maintain it. Possible suggestions of people to run for Johnson's seat include his son Brendan and former Democratic House member Rep. Stephanie Herseth Handlin.

[image via Wikipedia.com]