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« CA Sen: Boxer Sub-50% | Blog Home Page | The Week Ahead: Election En Mass. »

Arkansas Democrat Snyder Retiring

Arkansas Rep. Vic Snyder announced today he will not seek re-election this year, joining several other Democrats from moderate districts who are opting out of tough re-election campaigns.

Snyder, first elected in 1996, never won re-election with less than 58 percent. In 2008 he was not even challenged by a Republican, while John McCain won 54 percent in the district to President Obama's 44 percent -- an increase from 2004, when George W. Bush won by just a 51-48 margin.

In Arkansas, Democrats hold three of four House seats, both Senate seats and the governor's mansion. However, McCain carried the state with 59 percent, and Sen. Blanche Lincoln is in for the re-election battle of her career.

Snyder's 2nd District is surrounded by the state's three other districts and includes the capital city of Little Rock. While this is another good sign for Republicans -- and winning an open seat is often easier than defeating an incumbent -- Democrats do have potential candidates waiting in the wings, as The Hotline's Tim Sahd notes.

Here is his full statement:

"2010 will be a robust election year during which great forces collide to set the direction for our country for another two years. Over the last several weeks Betsy and I have had discussions with family and friends including other members of Congress (Rep. David Price, Rep. Susan Davis, and our own Sen. Mark Pryor) regarding the appropriate balance between family and Congressional service when a family has very young children. I have concluded that these election-year forces are no match for the persuasive and powerful attraction of our three one-year old boys under the leadership of their three-year old brother, and I have decided not to run for re-election.

"It is the greatest professional honor of my life to represent Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives, and I am so grateful to the people of Arkansas to have had this wonderful opportunity. That honor will now pass to someone else at the conclusion of this term.

"This decision has not been an easy one. Two weeks ago my campaign manager came on board, but that first morning I advised him to do nothing to begin the campaign because of my doubts regarding running. The onset of the new year, the time I always begin organizing my campaigns, did nothing to remove these doubts.

"I have put very little thought into what the work side of my life will look like at the end of this term, although it is clear from observing how much our four little boys eat that I will be working for a long, long time."