Harry Reid, Democratic Senator and current Senate Minority Leader, announced on Friday he will not run for re-election next year. Reid has represented the state of Nevada in the Senate since 1987. He has endorsed Senator Charles Schumer of New York to replace him as Democratic senate leader.
The announcement follows months of rumours regarding the senator's retirement. Reid had denied that he would retire on numerous occasions, even after the rumours strengthened after he seriously injured himself exercising on January 1. The 75-year-old hurt ribs and an eye, suffering problems with his vision after the accident.
To the Los Angeles Times, Reid spoke about his endorsement of Charles Schumer to replace him. He said "Schumer, in 22 months, if he plays his cards right, should be able to do it[...] I told him if you need my help, you got it." Another Senator talked about as a possible replacement is Dick Durbin, Senator from Illinois.
Reid made the announcement in a video. He said "The decision I made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, and it has nothing to do with my being majority leader, and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be reelected, because the path to reelection is much easier than it probably has been any time that I've run for re-election".
While Reid was giving a radio interview to Nevada Public Radio, President Barack Obama called in to pay tribute to the Senator. He said "Harry is unique and he's got that curmudgeonly charm that is hard to replace. I'm going to miss him. But the good thing is that I'm going to leave this place at the same time."
Reid is to serve the remaining 22 months of his term through the end of 2016. He served in the Senate from 1987, and before that in the House from 1983. He has held the position of Senate Democratic leader since 2005.