Obey to Retire from Congress?

MacIver News Service  – The Politico is reporting that long-time Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, will announce his retirement later today.

In a major blow to Democrats, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey has told close associates that he will not seek re-election and an announcement of his plans is expected as early as Wednesday. 

The Wisconsin Democrat faces tough poll numbers at home, but until Tuesday night his staff had insisted he was running aggressively and had hired campaign staff. But a person close to him confirmed the decision to POLITICO Wednesday and said Obey was preparing to make a statement.

A press conference has been called at 1 p.m. and Obey staff indicated that he would announce his plans then.

Obey, who  as Appropriations Chair helped author the Stimulus Package, was facing a heated campaign against likely GOP nominee Sean Duffy, the District Attorney of Ashland County. Rumors are now circulating at the State Capitol that Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Wausau) may be the preferred candidate to carry the Democratic banner in the House race this fall. That move would in itself have a ripple effect on State Senate and State Assembly races across the state.

We’ll have more as this breaking story develops.