U.S. Rep. Marion Berry to retire | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, January 24, 2010

U.S. Rep. Marion Berry to retire

Posted By on Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Both the Washington Post and Politico, quoting sources, are saying U.S. Rep. Marion Berry will announce as soon as tomorrow that he won't seek re-election this year. I have now confirmed this news. The  official announcement will come tomorrow morning.

Berry gave an equivocal statement on the matter in a recent interview with KUAR. He sounded tired and hasn't looked particularly healthy.He's 67.

Oddly, I'd received a note this afternoon from NE Ark. claiming otherwise and citing Berry campaign officials on the ground in Jonesboro. But that apparently was because his chief of staff, Chad Causey, made the move to Jonesboro recently (ostensibly for the Berry campaign) and he's among a cast of thousands expected to seek the post. No need to list the epic catalogue here just yet, but Attorney General Dustin McDaniel of Jonesboro and Republican legislator Davy Carter are among the higher profile names going around. Roby Brock lists more.

This shouldn't be a Republican takeover, based on history. The district trends heavily Democratic. In a normal year. (60 percent for statewide Dem. candidates in 2008, even 58 percent for Mark Pryor against incumbent GOP Sen. Tim Hutchinson in 2006. No, not Obama.) But it will be a real test of historical Democratic voting patterns by people who do it more by tradition than by party alignment. Republican Rick Crawford didn't scare Berry out of the race, though.

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