POLITICS
02/18/2011 12:52 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Jeff Bingaman Retirement Announcement Expected Today [UPDATED]

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) is expected to announce today that he will not run for reelection in 2012, Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post reports.

Last December, the Democratic Senator told Politico that he was undecided on whether or not to seek another term. He predicted at the time that he'd make his decision early this year.

"Certainly there are many pros and many cons," Bingaman explained.

The New Mexico Independent recently noted that the longtime lawmaker has served in the upper congressional chamber since 1983 and has not faced a serious challenger in his reelection quests since 1994.

CNN confirmed that Bingaman will not run to keep his seat early Friday afternoon.

The AP reports:

Bingaman would be the latest in a string of departures to hit Democrats as they look ahead to the 2012 election season.

He is currently serving his fifth term.

Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Jim Webb of Virginia have also announced they do not intend to seek a new term.

UPDATE: Bingaman signaled on Friday that he plans to retire in 2012. The AP reports that the five-term incumbent said he feels it's the right time to leave office:

He says he will focus on energy, education and boosting the economy during the remainder of his term.

He says he has no specific plans once he leaves the Senate, but will work to make sure his seat stays in Democratic hands.