EAST HADDAM, Conn., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate Wednesday after five terms.
Speaking at a news conference at his home in East Haddam, Conn., the longest-serving U.S. senator in Connecticut history said, "This is my moment to step aside. There will be time to reflect in more detail on the years I've spent in public service."
Dodd, 65, told reporters that after serving 30 years in the Senate and helping to craft a now-pending landmark overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, he had taken stock and determined it was an opportune moment for him to leave public life.
"I have been a Connecticut Senator for 30 years," he said. "I'm proud of the job I've done and the results delivered. But none of us are irreplaceable. None of us are indispensible. Those who think otherwise are dangerous."
Dodd has gone from a safe bet for re-election to a weak candidate in recent years, The Washington Post reported, but the senator denied that factored into his thinking.
"I am very aware of my present political standing here at home; but it is equally clear that any certain prediction about an election victory or defeat nearly a year from now, would be absurd," he said.
President Barack Obama issued a statement on Dodd's retirement, saying, "Over the years, he has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of our children and families, support good jobs for hard-working Americans, and keep our nation strong and prosperous, building a remarkable record of achievement for the people of Connecticut and our country."
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is considered likely to become the Democratic candidate for Dodd's seat, the Post said. At least two Republicans -- state Rep. Rob Simmons and businesswoman Linda McMahon -- are locked in a difficult battle for the GOP nomination.