“Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) will not seek reelection in 2014, he announced Thursday afternoon, saying he wanted to focus on the nation’s challenges rather than politics.
The 78-year-old senator has held his seat since 1979; he is chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee. He has not faced a close election in decades.
In his statement, Levin mentions corporate tax avoidance, the health of the manufacturing industry, campaign finance reform, military budget cuts, the end of the war in Afghanistan and veterans’ care as issues he wants to address in his final two years in office.
Levin becomes the seventh senator to announce his retirement so far this year, including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who resigned in January.
The other retirees are Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).