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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hagel Calls it "Quits"

Nebraska's Chuck Hagel plans to leave the Senate after two terms as a Republican Party maverick, according to sources close to the Senator. Hagel has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. Monday at the Omaha Press Club where he's expected to announce that "he will not run for re-election and that he does not intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008".

His retirement leaves another GOP Senate seat without an incumbent at a time when the Republican Party is struggling to stem potential losses and must defend more seats than Democrats. Possible successors on the Republican side include Attorney General Jon Bruning, financial adviser Pat Flynn, former Gov. Mike Johanns, Omaha Mayor Hal Daub, and Columbus businessman Tony Raimondo.

Former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey has voiced interest in returning to the Senate. Other Democratic contenders could include Scott Kleeb, who lost a race to Republican Adrian Smith in the 3rd Congressional District last year, and Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey.

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