West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller to retire after term ends

Chris Moody

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller will not seek a sixth term in the Senate, he told Politico in an interview. He will serve through 2014 after more than 25 years in the chamber,

"I’m going to serve out my term,” the 75-year-old Rockefeller said. “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 joined the Senate in 1985 after two terms as governor of West Virginia. He will make a formal announcement on Friday morning.

The senator's retirement could lead to a fierce race in 2014. Democrats have had a lock on the seat since the Dwight Eisenhower administration, and an election without an incumbent could give Republicans a major opportunity in a deeply red state.