Washington (CNN) – Arkansas Rep. Vic Snyder, a Democrat whose re-election prospects looked increasingly grim, announced Friday that he will not seek another term this November.
Snyder, first elected in 1996, is the sixth Democrat this cycle to retire with no plans to seek higher office. Six other House Democrats are leaving their seats to run for other offices. Fourteen House Republicans have announced plans to retire or run for another office.
In a statement released by his office, Snyder said 2010 "will be a robust election year during which great forces collide to set the direction for our country for another two years."
"I have concluded that these election-year forces are no match for the persuasive and powerful attraction of our three one-year old boys under the leadership of their three-year old brother, and I have decided not to run for re-election," he said in the statement.
Polling suggested that Snyder, a top target of national Republicans, was facing difficult re-election battle against former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, his Republican challenger in Arkansas' second congressional district. Griffin released a statement thanking Snyder "for his many years of service to the nation both in uniform and in Washington."
The National Republican Congressional Committee claimed that Snyder's announcement is part of a larger negative trend for Democrats and pointed to the tight Senate race in Massachusetts as another example.
"The political environment has become so toxic that Democrats are fighting for their political lives to hold on to Ted Kennedy's senate seat in Massachusetts while multi-term incumbents in swing districts like Vic Snyder are throwing in the towel," said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain. "After voting for the 'stimulus,' cap-and-trade, and a government takeover of healthcare, this announcement should come as no surprise."
UPDATE: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, issued a statement thanking Snyder for his service and pledging to find a credible Democrat to run in his place.
"As a proud father of one-year-old triplets, he has earned the right to now put his family first," Van Hollen said of Snyder.