U.S. Senator Tom Harkin announced Saturday that his fifth term will be his last and he will not seek reelection in 2014. The 73-year-old Iowa Democrat claimed it was “time to step aside” and open the door to a new generation of Democrats. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, he will be 75 at the end of this term. If he were to seek a sixth, he would be 81 by the time he left. Nevertheless, his announcement is surprising, considering his $2.7 million campaign coffers and a fundraising gala planned for February. The move paves the way for the GOP to regain the Senate majority, which they’ll need six seats to do. Let the games begin.
IOWA Sen. Harkin on Dec. 19, 2012. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)