Whoa: House Appropriations chair Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., to retire 

This isn’t exactly a confidence builder if you’re a Democrat running for office this year. One of the most powerful House Democrats is retiring:

In a major blow to Democrats, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey has told close associates that he will not seek reelection. An announcement of his plans is expected as early as Wednesday.

The Wisconsin Democrat faces tough poll numbers at home, but until Tuesday night his staff had insisted he was running aggressively and had hired campaign staff. But a person close to him confirmed the decision to POLITICO Wednesday and said Obey was preparing to make a statement.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a close friend, was informed by Obey of his decision Wednesday morning. A press conference has been called for 1 p.m. and Obey staff indicated that he would announce his plans then.

This also makes the possibility of a GOP pick-up in this district much more likely.

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Mark Hemingway

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