Sen. Domenici to retire for health reasons

Oct. 4, 2007 at 7:36 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., announced Thursday he would not seek re-election at the end of his sixth term for health reasons.

"I am suffering from a disease known as frontotemporal lobar degeneration," Domenici explained during his announcement at the the Albuquerque grade school he attended as a child. "This disease is progressive and incurable."

Domenici, 75, had hinted he would run for re-election despite some criticism of his role in the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys.

In a statement released by the White House, President George Bush said Domenici "has helped improve the lives of millions of Americans and made our country safer."

Calling him a friend, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Domenici championed the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, "our nation’s first comprehensive energy legislation in more than a decade."

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson declared Thursday as "Senator Pete V. Domenici Day," the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

"I am honored to declare Senator Pete V. Domenici Day in honor of an extraordinary career, a career that has been dedicated to the people of New Mexico," said Richardson, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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