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Baird To Retire Rather Than Run in 2010

Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) will not seek re-election in 2010. He is the third veteran House Democrat to announce the will not seek re-election in as many weeks, and his retirement from his competitive seat would be a pick-up opportunity for Republicans.

“The time has now come to pursue other options, other ways of serving,” Baird said in a press release. “Hence, I am announcing today that I do not intend to seek reelection to Congress in 2010. This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time.”

Baird has always won re-election with comfortable margins, even though his district has been competitive on a national level. A few Republicans have already filed to run against him, including former Deputy Assistant for Veteran Affairs David Castillo, accountant David Hedrick and Washougal City Councilman Jon Russell.

UPDATE: National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) did not say the GOP would target the race in 2010, but he called Baird’s seat — along with fellow retiring Democratic Reps. John Tanner (Tenn.) and Dennis Moore (Kan.) — a “swing district.”

“With this being the third retirement by a swing-district Democrat in as many weeks, it is clear that members of the Majority are feeling the ground shaking beneath them,” Sessions said in a statement. “Now, facing an angry and frustrated electorate, Democrats are quickly realizing that it’s time to throw in the towel.”

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