Democratic U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa will not seek re-election in 2014, a Democratic Senate aide said on Saturday.
Harkin, 73, is one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate and has focused much of his long congressional career on farm policy and helping pass legislation aiding people with disabilities.
Reacting to the news, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid called Harkin a "pillar of the Senate" and said that the nation has been "shaped in countless ways" by his contribution.
"Sen. Harkin has been a champion for improving Americans' access to affordable healthcare throughout his entire career, and Americans will continue to benefit from his commitment to preventive care," said Reid.
"Sen. Harkin's work on behalf of people with disabilities has changed millions of lives and advanced the cause of equality for which he has fought tirelessly for decades. And his work combating child labor and human rights abuses will endure for years to come."
On a personal note, Reid said that Harkin will be missed in the upper chamber. "Tom's work in the Senate is not done yet, but I will miss him when he leaves," said Reid. "I wish him, Ruth and his family all the best."
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