Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is backing New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to succeed him as Democratic leader. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that Reid issued his endorsement Friday morning, shortly after announcing he will retire next year instead of running for re-election.
Reid was first elected to the Senate almost thirty years ago.
Reid said he wants to make sure Democrats regain control of the Senate next year and that it would be "inappropriate" for him to soak up campaign resources when he could be focusing on putting the Democrats back in power.
The 75-year-old lawmaker also mentioned the exercise accident he had earlier this year which has left him badly bruised and struggling to regain sight in his right eye.
Senator Chuck Schumer is currently the Senate Democrats' third-in-command, behind Dick Durbin of Illinois.
The outspoken and politically astute Schumer was already viewed as Reid's most likely successor, but Reid's decision to bypass Durbin and give his blessing to Schumer could seal that deal.