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Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he remains committed to helping Republicans win the Senate majority in 2012, despite his decision to forgo re-election and retire upon the conclusion of his current term.

In two e-mails sent to supporters following his announcement, Kyl pledged to remain active in politics and engaged in the legislative process as the No. 2 Senate Republican. Kyl’s announcement was a surprise to many of his Washington, D.C., supporters, who had assumed that the Arizonan would not pass up an opportunity to become the Majority Whip in 2013.

“You know Jon Kyl, so you know that he will remain active and engaged, not only during the remaining 22 months of his term, but beyond that, too,” Kyl Chief of Staff Tim Glazewski said in one of the e-mails.

In a second e-mail, this one penned by Kyl and sent through his Senate Majority Fund political action committee, the Arizona Republican said he has “decided to retire from the Senate, but I am not retiring from politics.”

“My agenda for the next 22 months includes doing everything I need to do to ensure that Republicans regain control of the U.S. Senate in January 2013,” Kyl wrote in a postscript to the second e-mail. “I will keep you advised as I develop my political plans for the Senate Majority Fund, and I hope that I can count on your continued good efforts.”

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