Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl won’t run again
WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) said he will not run for re-election.
Kohl (D-Wis.), who was re-elected to the Senate for a fourth term in 2006 with an overwhelming majority of the vote, suggested in a news conference Friday that his age, 76, was a factor in his decision.
"I’ve always believed it is better to leave a job a little too early than a little too late," Kohl said. "The interest and energy I had for this job will find a new home."
Wisconsin, with a Jewish population of fewer than 30,000 in a state of 5.6 million, for years had boasted two Jewish senators until Russ Feingold, who had served with Kohl since 1993, was ousted in the Republicans’ 2010 election surge.
The National Jewish Democratic Council said in a statement that it was saddened by the news that Kohl would not seek re-election.
"Kohl has been a leader on issues affecting our nation’s children and seniors, and has been a strong advocate for Jewish values on the Senate floor," it said.
Kohl’s retirement further endangers the Democrats’ precarious Senate majority.
Speculation Friday was that Feingold or U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin would run to replace him as the Democratic candidate.