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« PA Gov Poll: Corbett The Early Frontrunner | Blog Home Page | RNC Launches Campaign Touting Health Care Opposition »

Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon (D) To Retire

Now the fourth Democrat to announce his retirement in four weeks, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) said this morning in a released statement that he will not run for re-election next year.

Gordon, a moderate Democrat from a Republican-leaning district, follows three other Democratic congressmen in similar political situations -- Brian Baird (WA-3), John Tanner (TN-8), and Dennis Moore (KS-3). President Obama won Moore and Baird's districts in 2008, but both were also won by President Bush in 2004.

"Turning 60 has led me to re-evaluate what's next," Gordon said in a statement. "I have an 8-year-old daughter and a wonderful wife who has a very demanding job. I am the only child of my 83-year-old mother, Margaret. They have made sacrifices to allow me to do what I love by serving in Congress, and now it's my turn."

Originally elected in 1984, Gordon has regularly been re-elected with more than 60 percent of the vote -- including every election this decade. He is chairman of the Science and Technology Committee. According to National Journal, his voting record places him near the middle of the House.

Tennessee's Sixth District is V-shaped and located in the middle of the state. John McCain won the district with 62 percent in 2008, and Bush won 60 percent four years earlier.

"When I was elected, I was the youngest member of the Tennessee congressional delegation; now, I'm one of the oldest," said Gordon. "In fact, I have members of my staff who weren't even born when I took office. That tells me it's time for a new chapter."

The run of retirements of Democrats in swing districts is a clear sign to Republicans that 2010 is going to be a good year -- one in which the party, down and out in the last two congressional elections, will at least cut into the Democrats' strong hold on Congress.

"It's official: Democrats now have a retirement problem," said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain. "After being forced to toe the line for Nancy Pelosi's reckless agenda too many times, Blue Dog Democrats would rather roll over and retire than face the political headwind that is barreling toward them. This is evidence of the fact that the Obama-Pelosi agenda of government takeovers, permanent bailouts, and fewer jobs is taking a political and mental toll even on incumbent Democrats who were once-perceived to be firmly entrenched."