Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy announced Monday that he would not seek re-election next year.
Leahy is 81 years old and has held that Senate seat for eight terms.
“Now is the time to give the torch to the next Vermonter, who will carry on this work for our great kingdom. It is time to return home,” Lehi said.
The AP reports:
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Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving current member of the Senate, said Monday he will not run for re-election next year in the seat he held for eight terms.
This announcement marks the end of a political era. First elected to the Senate in 1974, Lehi was the last of the so-called Watergate children to be elected following the resignation of President Richard Nixon. During his nearly half-century in the Senate, Vermont moved from one of the strongest Republican states in the country to one of its most progressive.
By retiring and creating the first vacancy in the Vermont congressional delegation since 2006, Lehi created a stir among the rising and emerging politicians in the state to become his successor.
Matthew Dickinson, a professor of political science at Middlebury College, said the potential choice to replace Lehi would be Democratic Republican Peter Welch, the only state member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dickinson said Welch’s fundraising was going well and noted that the 74-year-old Welch has consistently enjoyed high approval ratings.
Recall that Lehi oversaw a second fraud prosecution against President Trump earlier this year.
The U.S. Constitution requires that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court oversee impeachment hearings in the Senate.
Pro-Tempor, the president of the Senate, and Senator Lehi, the longest-serving member of the majority party, have presided over the impeachment trial since the election of Chief Justice John Roberts.
Lehi was taken to hospital earlier this year after presiding over the start of the impeachment trial.