U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota, says he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2010, a surprise announcement that could give Republicans an opportunity to pick up a seat from the Republican-leaning state.
Dorgan, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after serving a dozen years in the U.S. House, said he reached the decision after discussing his future with family over the holidays.
The moderate Democrat said he has other interests he wants to pursue.
Republican Gov. John Hoeven has been mulling a possible challenge to Dorgan and the veteran lawmaker's retirement could clear the path for the popular governor. Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy could be interested in seeking the seat.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)