Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Is Retiring, Endorsing Charles Schumer

Not long after an exercise mishap left him blind in one eye, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has announced that he won’t be running for re-election in the Senate.

According to Politico, Reid’s eye injury was the primary factor behind his retirement. The accident has caused the Democratic senator to re-evaluate his life and career, which ultimately led him to the decision that he doesn’t want to go through another painstaking campaign process. In his absence, Harry Reid is endorsing Senator Charles Schumer to be his replacement as Senate minority leader.

Harry Reid recorded a farewell video explaining some of his other reasons for leaving the Senate.

“I’ve had time to ponder and to think. We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than us. And as a result of that, I’m not going to run for reelection.”

You can watch the full video below.

Harry Reid has been the leader of the Democratic party in the Senate since 2007. Until this past election when Republicans took control of the Senate, Reid enjoyed the position of Senate majority leader. Harry Reid established a reputation as one of the most strident advocates of liberal principles, playing a major role in pushing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act bill through Congress.

“We have to make sure that the Democrats take control of the Senate again,” Harry Reid said. “And I feel it is inappropriate for me to soak up all those resources on me when I could be devoting those resources to the caucus, and that’s what I intend to do.”

According to CNN, Harry Reid made the decision to retire back in December. Around Christmas time, Reid spoke to his family and agreed he needed to spend more time with them. But he wanted to wait a few months before making the official announcement.

Harry Reid’s retirement will come as a bit of a shock to both parties. As Senate minority leader, Reid was a major player in the 2016 election, which will determine the party distribution of Congress when the newly-elected president enters the White House.

With Harry Reid gone, the Democratic caucus will be tasked with finding a replacement. Despite Reid’s recommendation of Senator Charles Schumer from New York, other candidates like Minority Whip Dick Durbin could throw their name in the ring.

Who do you think should replace Harry Reid?

[Image courtesy of Getty Images]