Friday, February 18, 2011

The Official Word From Bingaman

Today I am announcing that I will not run next year for election for a sixth term in the United States Senate.

Representing the people of New Mexico in the Senate is a great honor, and a great responsibility which I have enjoyed for over 28 years.

At the end of this Congress, I will have been in public service for thirty-four years—four as New Mexico’s Attorney General, and thirty in the United States Senate.

The end of this Congress is the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to serve.

It is not easy to get elected to the Senate, and it is not easy to decide to leave the Senate.

There is important work that remains to be done. That is true today, and it will be the case at the end of this Congress. It will be true at the end of every future Congress as well. The simple truth is, there is no ideal time to step aside.

I am proud of my service in the Senate, and the work of my staff in New Mexico and Washington who have shared in the trust given by the people of New Mexico. My family, and that fine staff, have made my service possible. We will continue to serve the people of New Mexico through the remainder of this Congress which has just begun.

When I started in the Senate in 1983, and Anne, John and I moved to Washington, we never considered it a permanent move. We have always considered New Mexico our home, and have cherished the time we have been able to spend here over the last three decades. At the end of this term, we will come home to New Mexico to live, and to pursue other challenges.

Meanwhile the well-wishing from politicos keep coming in:

Gov. Susana Martinez: "... For nearly thirty years, Jeff Bingaman has represented New Mexico in the United States Senate and during that time, he has served as a strong advocate for his constituents and contributed significantly to some of the most important debates in our nation’s history."

Congressman Steve Pearce: "For more than three decades, he has worked tirelessly as a public servant. It has been and continues to be a privilege to call Jeff my friend and colleague. I look forward to working alongside him in his last two years serving the people of New Mexico.”

Pat Vincent-Collawn, President and CEO, PNM Resources: "... U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman admirably served the interests of New Mexico and the nation on a variety of issues, including energy, health and education. Our state and the country are a better place because of his hard work on our behalf.”

UPDATED: Even more reax

Sen. Tom Udall: Jeff has never been one to promote himself, but his accomplishments are too great to list. He has been a national leader in pushing for a 21st Century energy policy; he is an expert in the healthcare arena; and he is a champion in the effort to protect our environment and conserve our special public places in New Mexico and across the country for generations to come.

He is one of the most thoughtful and serious legislators in the United States Senate, and his presence will be missed

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan: (This isn't his formal statement, just an answer to my question whether Lujan is considering running for the Senate) Senator Bingaman has served the people of New Mexico with distinction for nearly 30 years in the Senate and I commend him for his accomplishments on behalf of our great state. My focus at this time is on representing the people in my district as we work to turn our economy around, put people back to work, and move New Mexico forward. .