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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Arkansas -- 01

Arkansas Democrat Berry Announces Retirement

Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry (D) announced today he will not seek re-election this year, leaving two of Arkansas' three Democratic House seats open. Berry's colleague Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) announced his retirement 10 days ago.

"The people deserve a representative who has the ability to rise to the numerous challenges that face our state and our nation," Berry said in a brief released statement. "As a lifelong farmer, time has taken its toll on my health and I am no longer able to serve the district with the vitality I once possessed. Therefore, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2010."

Berry was first elected to the 1st District, which covers the northeastern part of the state, in 1996. He never won re-election with less than 60 percent of the vote, and ran unopposed in 2008.

The retirement leaves open a competitive seat for Republicans. John McCain won the district by 21 points in 2008 -- four years earlier, George W. Bush won it by 5 points. With other Democratic retirements and congressmen seeking higher office, there are now at least nine open Democratic seats in competitive districts.

"We are confident that this district will continue to elect a Democratic candidate who shares Representative Berry's values and commitment to standing up for the middle class in these challenging economic times," said DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.).