Retirement season is in full swing in the Senate, and it's looking like we'll soon have one more. Unfortunately, it's one where Dems would probably be better served running against the badly damaged incumbent, John Ensign, than the likely Republican replacement (Rep. Dean Heller).
Sen. John Ensign is expected to announce at an afternoon news conference in Las Vegas that he will retire rather than face a brutal 2012 re-election campaign, according to knowledgeable sources.
The news conference is set for noon (Pacific time); I suppose it's possible the multiple sources are wrong. The real question, at this point, is how long it takes post-conference for Heller to announce... and then, what does potential Dem candidate Rep. Shelley Berkley do, now that she faces a much less appealing race against Heller?
UPDATE: With the news conference underway, Ensign confirms that he's retiring in 2012, but won't resign and will finish his term "in strong fashion." He was planning on running again as recently as last week he says, but, in the end, couldn't put his family through it. Jon Ralston's reaction?
Ensign puts family first after polls show he has no chance, Heller all but in, ethics panel ramps up probe and money slows down.