WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., announced Wednesday that he would not run for re-election in 2006 out of concern he would be defeated by a Republican challenger.
The first Senate Democrat to announced his retirement before the next round of congressional elections, Dayton's move opens up the seat to a competitive race.
He told reporters in a teleconference that he was making way for a new Democrat-Farm-Labor candidate who would have a better chance to keep the seat in Democratic hands.
"I do not believe that I am the best candidate to lead the DFL Party to victory next year," he said.
Dayon added that he plans to remain in the states and continue in public service.