Friday, February 18, 2011
Video of Bingaman announcing his retirement
Bingaman statement on his retirement made Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Hotel Andaluz in downtown ABQ:
Today I am announcing that I will not run next year for election for a sixth term in the United States Senate. Representing the people of New Mexico in the Senate is a great honor, and a great responsibility which I have enjoyed for over 28 years.
At the end of this Congress, I will have been in public service for thirty-four years—four as New Mexico’s Attorney General, and thirty in the United States Senate. The end of this Congress is the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to serve.
It is not easy to get elected to the Senate, and it is not easy to decide to leave the Senate. There is important work that remains to be done. That is true today, and it will be the case at the end of this Congress. It will be true at the end of every future Congress as well. The simple truth is, there is no ideal time to step aside.
I am proud of my service in the Senate, and the work of my staff in New Mexico and Washington who have shared in the trust given by the people of New Mexico. My family, and that fine staff, have made my service possible. We will continue to serve the people of New Mexico through the remainder of this Congress which has just begun.
When I started in the Senate in 1983, and Anne, John and I moved to Washington, we never considered it a permanent move. We have always considered New Mexico our home, and have cherished the time we have been able to spend here over the last three decades. At the end of this term, we will come home to New Mexico to live, and to pursue other challenges.
AN EARLIER BINGAMAN STATEMENT
The end of this Congress is the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to serve. It is not easy to get elected to the Senate, and it is not easy to decide to leave the Senate.
There is important work that remains to be done. That is true today, and it will be the case at the end of this Congress. It will be true at the end of every future Congress as well. The simple truth is, there is no ideal time to step aside.
Jeff Bingaman was first elected to public office in 1978 when he was elected New Mexico Attorney General (AG). After serving one term as AG, he unseated incumbent Harrison Schmitt to become the junior U.S. Senator from New Mexico in 1982.
During Bingaman’s five terms in the Senate, he has served on the following committees:
Bingaman is currently Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (ENR), and is the fifth (after Sens. Inouye, Leahy, Baucus, and Levin) most senior member of the Democratic caucus.
During his twenty-seven year Senate career, Bingaman has been known for his leadership creating bipartisan legislation on national energy policy, education, health care policy, and public lands, to name a few. Bingaman was one of 23 Senators to vote against the Iraq war in 2003.”
Statement from National Republican Senatorial Committee:
"It speaks volumes about the state of the two political parties that as strong Republican candidates step forward in key races, Senate Democrats in important battleground states are stepping aside. Like the earlier retirements in North Dakota and Virginia, Senator Bingaman's decision immediately presents another strong pickup opportunity for Senate Republicans. It also further limits the ability of national Democrats to play offense when their resources will be spread out over such an expansive defensive map.
"Whomever the Democrats now choose as their nominee, this election will offer a clear contrast for voters in New Mexico between a fiscally responsible Republican leader and a Democrat who believes we should stay the course on more spending, more taxes, and more government."