Democrat Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that he won't seek re-election to his Minnesota Senate seat in 2006. Dayton was seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate, and he said Wednesday that the fund-raising mountain ahead of him was taller than he could climb. "I cannot stand to do the constant fund raising necessary to wage a successful campaign, and I cannot be an effective senator while also being a nearly full-time candidate," Dayton said.
The Republicans have already started circling, and a big-name Democrat may be about to jump in the ring: Minnesota's Al Franken has expressed interest in running for office before, and his producer says he'll make an announcement -- one way or the other -- on his Air America radio show this afternoon.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.