WASHINGTON — Sen. Tim Johnson's office said he will make an announcement about the 2014 election Tuesday as several news outlets were reporting the Senate Banking Committee head plans to bow out from another term.
Speculation has been building that the South Dakota Democrat, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2006, will not run, which would potentially pave the way for his son, Brendan, a U.S. attorney in South Dakota, to run for the seat. Reuters was the first to report Monday afternoon that the senator had decided to step down instead of seeking a fourth term.
It's an open question who would take the chairman's gavel if Democrats hold on to the Senate in 2014 and Johnson leaves. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is currently the second-highest ranking Democrat, followed by New York's Charles Schumer and New Jersey's Robert Menendez. But some observers say they may seek other positions in the Senate, potentially putting a lower-ranking member like Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in the running.
"I can't say it's unprecedented, but it's by no means normal to have a seniority jump of four positions caused by one retirement. And that's effectively what we could have here," said Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, while adding that there are "so many ifs and assumptions in this conversation."
Johnson took the helm of the committee in 2011 after the passage of the Dodd-Frank reform law. The press conference, which will take place in South Dakota, is scheduled for Tuesday at 3pm central.