UPDATE: Sen. Tom Harkin won't seek Senate seat again - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Sen. Tom Harkin won't seek Senate seat again


U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin said Saturday he will not seek a sixth term in 2014.

Harkin made the announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2014 to state democrats at the Central Committee meeting, Saturday.

With the group scheduled to elect new leaders, attendees weren't surprised to see Harkin.  What they heard left many shocked.

"Obviously I have mixed emotions about this. I mean I .. I have a lot of seniority, I'm 7th in the entire united states senate, I'm 4th among 55 democrats, I have a key position, I chair a very wonderful powerful committee, I chair the second largest appropriations committee, to tell you that it's easy to walk away from that kind of position and power, that would be a lie. It`s not easy," Harkin said.

Penny Rosfjord serves as the vice-chair of the Woodbury County Democrats.  She's also on the central committee and was in the room when Harkin spoke.

"He kind of set the scene up, and slowly people began to see what was coming, and you basically could hear a pin drop," Rosfjord said.

The 73-year-old cited his age as a factor in the decision, saying it was time for a new generation of Iowa Democrats to seek higher office.

Rosfjord says Harkin's biggest legacy will be the work he did sponsoring the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He still has two years of his term left to serve.

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