Sen. Jay Rockefeller of W.Va. Won’t Seek Reelection

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 11 2013 11:14 AM

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia Won’t Seek Reelection, Giving GOP Chance at Seat

Sen. Jay Rockefeller has served in the Senate since 1985

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The GOP got some good news this morning as Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller said he will not seek reelection in 2014. Although the news was largely expected, the 75-year-old Rockefeller said he only recently made up his mind not to run for a sixth term, a question he had been wrestling with since October. “I’m going to serve out my term,” the senator tells Politico. “It was a very hard decision for me. Once it’s made, like any hard decision, it eases up. But it was a very tough decision for me.”

Rockefeller, a former two-term governor and currently chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, acknowledged it would be difficult for Democrats to hold on to his seat in a state where President Obama only received 35.5 percent of the vote last year. GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, whose father served three terms as West Virginia governor, had already declared her intention to run for Rockefeller’s seat, points out USA Today. Democrats and their allies hold 55 seats out of 100 in the Senate, and will have to defend 20 of them in the next election, several of which are in states that Obama lost in November, including Louisiana, Montana, and North Carolina, notes Bloomberg.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.