Hoang Dinh Nam /AFP/Getty Images
Sen. Jim Webb gestures while answering a question during a press conference in Hanoi on Aug. 19, 2009.
Sen. Jim Webb gestures while answering a question during a press conference in Hanoi on Aug. 19, 2009. Hoang Dinh Nam /AFP/Getty Images
In a statement just issued by his office, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) says that "after much thought and consideration I have decided to return to the private sector, where I have spent most of my professional life, and will not seek re-election in 2012."
Webb's come-from-behind victory over Republican Sen. George Allen in 2006 gave Democrats control of the Senate. Allen is among the Republicans lining up to go for the seat next year.
Webb's decision is not entirely unexpected. There had been rumors for months that the independent-minded, one-time secretary of the Navy (during the Reagan administration) wouldn't seek a second term.
Frank follows this kind of news over at It's All Politics, so check there for more.
Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: Frank writes that "Webb's decision to be a one-and-done senator raises the likelihood of a clash of Virginia titans between Allen, who was a popular governor as well as senator, and [Democrat] Tim Kaine, another popular politician and former Virginia chief executive."
Correction at 11:58 a.m. ET: We briefly had Webb being elected in 2008. It was 2006, as we now correctly say above.