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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another Democrat not seeking re-election

Representative William D. Delahunt, a seven-term Democrat, announced Friday that he would not seek re-election, setting off what is sure to be a frenzied race for his seat.

In an emotional news conference at City Hall in Quincy, Mr. Delahunt, 68, said the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in August made him reflect on his mortality and realize that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Mr. Delahunt told The Boston Globe that he had considered stepping down before, but that Mr. Kennedy had talked him out of the decision two years ago.

Mr. Delahunt, who was first elected in 1996, said the decision had nothing to do with the current political climate, and said he was not going to join others who lamented partisanship while announcing they were leaving Congress.

“This cynicism is not in the DNA of the American people,” Mr. Delahunt said. “It is not a permanent condition. We are an innately optimistic people who have consistently risen to the challenges of the moment.”

He added, “We cannot allow cynicism to infect the body politic, and we cannot surrender to it because it too will pass.”

The congressman has faced questions recently for his handling of a 1986 shooting case, when he was district attorney. In that case, Amy Bishop, fatally shot her brother, but it was ruled an accident and no charges were filed. Dr. Bishop, a neuroscientist, is now accused of killing three colleagues and wounding three others at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on Feb. 12. (continue reading here a NYT)

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