March 25 (UPI) -- Two-term U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., announced Monday that he will not seek another term, leaving what was considered a safe seat for Democrats up for grabs.
Udall, who served as a U.S. representative before winning a Senate seat in 2008, was re-elected in 2014. His term is up in 2020.
"I'm confident that we could run a strong campaign next year to earn a third term, because of all the work you and I have done together, along with my wife, Jill, and my incredibly dedicated staff," Udall wrote on his Medium blog.
"But the worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them, rather than to the people they represent. That's why I'm announcing today that I won't be seeking re-election next year."
Udall, who served New Mexico as attorney general as well, said he was not retiring from public life and will find new ways to serve.
"In fact, I see these next two years as an incredible opportunity," Udall said. "Without the distraction of another campaign, I can get so much more done to help reverse the damage done to our planet, end the scourge of war and to stop this president's assault on our democracy and our communities."
While Republican Susana Martinez served as New Mexico's governor from 2011-19, she was replaced by Democrat Michelle Grisham last year. Democrats have since dominated statewide offices.
All five members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are Democrats.