So far, two other Democrats, Sens. Kent Conrad of North Dakota and James Webb of Virginia, have announced their intentions not to seek re-election in 2012. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who caucuses with the Democrats, also announced his retirement.
The departure of Bingaman, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, would leave a void in energy policymaking, The Hill said. The moderate guided a sweeping energy bill through the Senate and into law in 2007.
Bingaman was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1982.
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