WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., facing declining approval ratings, has decided not to seek re-election in 2006, says a report.
Dayton made the announcement in a telephone conference call with reporters, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
"I do not believe that I am the best candidate to lead the DFL (Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) to victory next year,'' Dayton said, adding he wants to keep the seat in Democratic hands and he cannot do the necessary fundraising to run an effective campaign.
Dayton, a freshman facing a tough 2006 re-election fight, made the decision days after a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll showed his approval rating had plummeted to 43 percent.
Republicans have already made the freshman Democrat their top target for ouster in next year's election, the report said.
Dayton, a department store heir who tapped $12 million from his own fortune to finance his 2000 campaign, also faced a fundraising hurdle.