WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Karen McCarthy, D-Mo., says she will not be candidate for re-election to the congressional seat she has held since 1994.
The Kansas City, Mo., Democrat, who has been wrestling publicly with alcoholism since falling down a congressional escalator last March, announced over the weekend that she would retire at the end of the current Congress.
McCarthy, whose office has experienced exceptionally high staff turnover in recent months, was already being challenged in next year's congressional primary.
Early speculation on her replacement centered on former two-term Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat, who was not among those contemplating a primary challenge.
The 5th Congressional District includes most of the metropolitan Kansas City, Mo., area. McCarthy last won re-election with 66 percent of the 180,000 votes cast. Former Vice President Albert Gore carried the seat in the 2000 presidential election, winning 60 percent of the vote over George W. Bush.