WASHINGTON — The retirement of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson at the end of next year has already prompted an elaborate guessing game about who will succeed him at the helm of the panel.

But perhaps the biggest question is who among the potential successors actually wants the position. If the Democrats hold the Senate in 2014, the next member of the committee behind Johnson in line for the gavel is Jack Reed of Rhode Island. But Reed is widely expected to prefer the top spot on the Armed Services Committee, which will also open up after the midterm elections. And the next two members behind Reed — New York's Charles Schumer and New Jersey's Robert Menendez — are also said to be considering different promotions than ascending to the top spot on the banking panel.

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