Video: North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan to Retire

Dorgan's vacant seat will almost certainly get filled by a Republican. This has the potential to cripple the Obama administration's policymaking momentum.

In a statement released this afternoon, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced that he will not be running for re-election:

I would like to do some teaching and would also like to work on energy policy in the private sector.

So, over this holiday season, I have come to the conclusion, with the support of my family, that I will not be seeking another term in the U.S. Senate in 2010. It is a hard decision to make after thirty years in the Congress, but I believe it is the right time for me to pursue these other interests.

Let me be clear that this decision does not relate to any dissatisfaction that I have about serving in the Senate. Yes, I wish there was less rancor and more bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate these days. But still, it is a great privilege to serve and I have the utmost respect for all of the men and women with whom I serve.

Dorgan is perhaps most remembered for his prescience in predicting the negative consequences of repealing the Glass-Steagall financial regulatory reforms, which broke down the barriers between investment and depository banking. Upon passage of the bill in 1999, Dorgan predicted, “I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930’s is true in 2010.” Watch it:


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