Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl to retire from Senate 

National Journal is reporting that according to Democratic sources, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., will not seek reelection in 2012. Wisconsin was already set to be a fiercely contested battleground state in the presidential election, adding a senate race to the mix only increases the state’s prominence.

A Russ Feingold vs Paul Ryan senate race is a definite possibility. Other names Republicans are throwing out, according to National Journal, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and businessman Tim Michels.

Kohl becomes the fifth Democrat to announce retirement this cycle. The others are Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Jim Webb of Virginia. Democrats will also have to defend another 16 seats, not including retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and returning Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Republicans only have to defend 10 senate seats, 8 of which feature incumbents. Only Arizona and Texas are open seats.

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