Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia announced Friday that he will not seek a sixth term — ending a three-decade run in the upper chamber and giving Republicans some more hope that they can capture the seat in the 2014 election.
The 75-year-old told the Associated Press that it was time to “bring more balance to my life after a career that has been so obsessively dominated by politics and public policy and campaigns.”
“I’ve gotten way out of whack in terms of the time I should spend with my wife and my children and my grandchildren,” Mr. Rockefeller said.
The decision was not a big surprise, and the pressure had been building on the Democrat to indicate whether he planned to stay or go.
Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, West Virginia Republican, announced in November, shortly after winning her seventh term, that she would challenge for the seat. Some polls show that Mr. Rockefeller could be vulnerable in a re-election with Mrs. Capito.
“We are experiencing changing leadership in our state resulting in a greater political balance between parties,” Mrs. Capito said in making her announcement. “West Virginia needs a new and diverse voice in the U.S. Senate.”