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Lincoln Calls Retirement Rumors ‘Outlandish’

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) on Tuesday dismissed rumors that she is planning to retire at the end of this Congress and forgo a long-planned re-election campaign.Lincoln’s comments came the same day she announced a successful fourth-quarter fundraising period. She brought in $1.3 million during the last three months of 2009, leaving her with just over $5 million in cash on hand as of Dec. 31, according to fundraising reports set to be filed with the Federal Election Commission.The haul — which she teased on her Twitter page as a big announcement — prompted fresh rumors that she was going to call it quits at the end of her second term. Lincoln is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents this year.“People say anything, make it up, do whatever. Nobody ever called me,— Lincoln said Tuesday, calling talk of her retirement “absolutely outlandish.—“It’s so sad to see that people are playing games with stuff like that,— she said. “This is not about games. This is about working hard, doing the right thing, and wanting to serve your country.—Nine Republicans are vying for the opportunity to challenge Lincoln in the general election. The frontrunner for now is state Sen. Gilbert Baker (R), but the field may not be set. Rep. John Boozman (R) has said he’s considering challenging Lincoln and has promised a decision on the race by this week.The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been targeting the moderate Lincoln since the beginning of the cycle.John McArdle contributed to this report.

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