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New Jersey Rep. Saxton to Retire

Rep. Jim Saxton, the twelve-term Republican from New Jersey's 3rd District, plans to retire after his current term, an announcement that could come as early as today, according to sources familiar with his decision.

Saxton's retirement opens up a seat he has held since 1984 and creates another vulnerable open seat for House Republicans. President Bush narrowly carried the district with 51 percent in 2004, and Democrats had been making noise about a potential challenge to Saxton in 2008.

Saxton is the 15th House Republican to decide against seeking reelection; just three Democrats have announced this will be their last term.

The swing nature of Saxton's seat places in it a highly vulnerable category along with open GOP seats in Illinois's 11th District, Arizona's 1st, Minnesota's 3rd, New Mexico's 1st and Ohio's 15th and 16th.

More on this race next week.

UPDATE, 2:35 p.m. ET: Saxton made his decision official, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Here's NRCC Chairman Tom Cole's statement on Saxton's announcement:

Washington--NRCC Chairman Tom Cole made the following statement after Rep. Jim Saxton (NJ-03) announced his intention to retire from the U.S. House at the end of his current term:

"Jim Saxton has been a strong and effective representative for the people of New Jersey's Third Congressional District for more than two decades, fighting for the important local issues of protecting New Jersey's shoreline and natural resources. Jim is a well-respected member of the Republican conference and has been a staunch supporter of our nation's military and a leader in the fight for a more secure America. Jim Saxton has been a good friend since I served as the NRCC's Executive Director in 1991. We have served together on the House Armed Services Committee for six years. He is a man I admire, respect and will miss. His district and our country have been fortunate to have the services of a man of his character and ability.

"The people of New Jersey have demonstrated that they want a representative who fights for jobs, lower taxes and a stronger economy. The voters of South Jersey will send another Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 to build on Jim Saxton's formidable record."

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 9, 2007; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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