WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Chuck Hagel’s decision Monday not to make a run for the White House means the Republican field will stay at nine candidates for now.
“I’m here with my family to announce I will not seek re-election,” the Republican two-term Senator from Nebraska said at a news conference in Omaha, adding “nor will I be a candidate for any office in 2008.”
Hagel, who is one of his party’s most vocal critics of the Bush Administration’s handling of the Iraq War, had flirted earlier this year with the possibility of making a bid for the presidency.
But Hagel said his commitments as a senator was one reason he decided not to run for the White House.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser