Veteran Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd said yesterday he will not seek re-election in November in recognition that he faced an uphill battle and underscoring upheaval facing President Barack Obama’s Democrats.

Dodd, 65, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and leader of a financial regulations overhaul in the Senate, has been dogged by questions over his financial industry connections and was trailing badly in polls in his home state of Connecticut.

“This is my moment to step aside,” he said.


Dodd’s announcement followed by one day the surprise announcement by Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan that he would not seek re-election in North Dakota.

Dodd is giving way to an expected bid for his seat by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Republicans conceded that Democratic chances will improve with Blumenthal in the race.

Dodd’s departure will leave a large hole. Besides financial regulations, he has had a lead role in pushing Obama’s health care agenda and has backed an uphill battle to win passage of legislation to stem global warming.

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