Democrat Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl Retires, Will not Run in 2012 … Another Dem. Open Seat to Defend


Democrats chances of maintaining a majority control of the US Senate in 2012 just got a little more difficult.

US Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) surprised many by his announcement not to run for reelection in 2012 for the US Senate. The 76 year old Kohl is the sixth Democratic aligned Senator to step aside in advance of the 2012 election. Kohl served in the US Senate for 4 terms and first was elected in 1988.  Kohl is one of the US Senate’s wealthiest members. Kohl is the  owner of the NBA Milwaukee Bucks and amassed his fortune from his family owned business, Kohl’s grocery and department stores, which he sold in 1979.

Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl announced his retirement Friday, a decision that sets up a competitive open seat contest in a state that has already drawn considerable national attention this year.

“Even though I continue to love this job, I have decided that the time has come to give someone else the opportunity to serve,” Kohl, who is in his fourth term and 76 years old, said in a noon speech in Milwaukee.

Kohl is the sixth Democratic-aligned Senator to step aside in advance of the 2012 election. Two Republicans aren’t running for reelection next year.

Democrats already had an uphill battle to maintain controlling majority in the US Senate in the 2012 election; however, it just became even more difficult with a “safe”  Democrat Senate seat that would have been considered “likely” Democrat to  most certainly a toss up. Senate Democrats have to defend 23 seats, 21 Dems and 2 Indies who caucus with Dems.

More from ABC News,

In the wake of the surprise announcement that Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., will not run for reelection in 2012, Wisconsin lawmaker Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee, says he will take some time to decide whether to run for the open seat.

“I was surprised by Senator Kohl’s announcement and want to take some time over the next few days to discuss this news with my family and supporters before making any decision about how I’m best able to serve my employers in the First Congressional District, our state and nation,” Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement Friday afternoon.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, (VIDEO) there are many lining up for the open seat.

Posted May 14, 2011 by
2012 Elections, Senate | no comments

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