Add another Democratic incumbent's name to those who are not seeking re-election in 2010: Bart Gordon of Tennessee.
Gordon, chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology and the dean of the Tennessee congressional delegation, has rarely ever had trouble holding onto the seat he first won in 1984; it was the seat vacated by Al Gore, who was running for the Senate. Last year Gordon won 74 percent of the vote, up from 67 percent in 2006.
In a statement, Gordon said:
I feel honored that the people of Middle Tennessee have allowed me to serve them for the past 25 years. Every decision I have made in Congress has been with their best interests in mind. I hope the people here at home feel that I have served them as well as their good advice and views have served me.
When I was elected, I was the youngest member of the Tennessee congressional delegation; now, I'm one of the oldest. In fact, I have members of my staff who weren't even born when I took office. That tells me it's time for a new chapter.
Gordon is the fourth Democrat to announce his retirement in recent weeks, joining fellow Tennnessean John Tanner plus Dennis Moore of Kansas and Brian Baird of Washington.