SD Sen. Tim Johnson retirement opens door for GOP


South Dakota map SC

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.— South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson was expected to announce his retirement Tuesday, making the state the fifth where Democrats will have to defend a seat without an incumbent seeking re-election. The decision opens up a 2014 race that Republicans had already labeled as a top target to grab a seat.

Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is expected to say Tuesday afternoon that he will not seek a fourth term in the Senate next year.

Former Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, had announced plans last year to challenge Johnson, who still is coping with the constraints of a 2006 brain hemorrhage that left his speech impaired and limited his mobility.

By stepping aside, the 66-year-old Johnson, who had never lost an election, leaves South Dakota Democrats searching their youthful prospects for a potential successor.

“I believe South Dakota moves into the top slot as the most likely Republican pickup,” said Greg Strimple, a Republican pollster and past consultant to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

 Read More at OfficialWire . By Chet Brokaw.


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