Monday, November 26, 2007

Trent Lott, Minority Whip Stepping Down

Sen Trent Lott (R), Mississippi, plans to resign from Congress by the end of the year, a person close to Lott said.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Lott, 66, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, had stayed in office to help his state recover from Hurricane Katrina and now believes the work has progressed enough that he can leave office. Lott won a fourth term last year with 64 percent of the vote.

Lott scheduled two news conferences in his home state today to discuss his plans.

Lott, 66, the minority whip, made the decision over the Thanksgiving weekend with his family in Pascagoula, Miss., according to a senior Republican insider. Lott's move shocked Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have seen a wave of veterans announce their decision to retire next year as the GOP looks increasingly certain to remain in the minority. But Lott is the most senior Republican to announce he is leaving office, and his decision comes barely a year after he won re-election to a six-year term.
Lott's departure is equally stunning because, after cruising to his re-election last year, he completed a political rehabilitation from allegations of racial insensitivity because of remarks he made at a 100th birthday party for Strom Thurmond in December 2002, which led to his banishment from GOP leadership. Last November, after four years as a back-bench Republican who burnished his image as a deal-maker, Lott won a narrow race to become GOP whip, the No. 2 post in leadership.
"Fatigue has set in," said the GOP aide, requesting anonymity to speak freely about a decision that will not be formal until a noon press conference in Pascagoula.

Trent Lott resigning by end of the year - WaPo
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