Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.) is expected to announce her retirement on Saturday at a meeting of the state GOP central committee in Casper, a Republican source said Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a GOP source on Capitol Hill confirmed a report that appeared this afternoon on WashingtonPost.com that Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.) also is preparing to announce his retirement.
Cubin, long rumored to be retiring from her Republican-leaning at-large House seat upon the conclusion of her current term, has been absent from Capitol Hill for much of the year to tend to her hospitalized husband in Wyoming.
The Congresswoman’s office billed Cubin’s scheduled remarks at the GOP confab as an “announcement about her future political plans,” but would not specifically reveal what she plans to say at the Saturday appearance, which is set for 10 a.m. Mountain Time.
Cubin barely won a seventh term last year, beating Internet entrepreneur and first-time candidate Gary Trauner (D) by roughly 1,000 votes.
Trauner is running again in 2008, and multiple Republicans, sensing her political weakness, had indicated that they might challenge Cubin in the GOP primary should she opt for re-election. Although Trauner performed well in the previous cycle, many Republicans believe his chances of winning next year will be greatly diminished if the GOP nominates someone other than Cubin.
Cubin, who has been nursing a broken foot she suffered recently, has been absent from the House since Oct. 25, when the debate to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program occurred. In a strong indication that she has been planning to retire, Cubin closed the third quarter with a measly $8,651.00 on hand.
Meanwhile, Saxton’s retirement presents a golden opportunity for Democrats, who already had a strong recruit in the race in state Sen. John Adler (D). Saxton’s south New Jersey district gave President Bush 51 percent of the vote in 2004 and went for Al Gore in the 2000 White House election.
Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.