Here's the full statement just sent out by Courtney Sanders in the senator's D.C. office, which speaks -- at length -- for itself:
Announcement by U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
To my fellow Texans:
For the past 17 years, it has been my greatest honor to serve the people of Texas in the United States Senate. Working for the citizens and communities of our state is a privilege.
I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2012. That should give the people of Texas ample time to consider who my successor will be. In the next two years, you can be assured that I will pursue my duties, and my responsibilities to our state and people, with the same vigor that I have employed during my Senate service.
I have loved visiting all 254 counties in Texas. During my travels, I have been most touched by the constituents who have told me how my work in the Senate has personally impacted their lives. From the man in Dallas who thanked me for passing my Homemaker IRA legislation which allowed him and his wife to save more for their retirement; the teacher and sheriff's deputy in Houston who saved thousands each year because they knew I fought for my bill to relieve the marriage penalty tax; the military families who know I have been a champion of health care and housing for these heroes; and the many constituents that we have been privileged to assist with social security and veterans benefits. Knowing that I have been able to truly help my fellow Texans and make a positive difference in their lives is a public servant's greatest reward.
When my current term is up, I will have served Texas for 19 years in the United States Senate. I intended to leave this office long before now, but I was persuaded to continue in order to avoid disadvantage to our state. The last two years have been particularly difficult, especially for my family, but I felt it would be wrong to leave the Senate during such a critical period. Instead of putting my seat into a special election, I felt it was my duty to use my experience to fight the massive spending that has increased our national debt; the government takeover of the our health care system; and the growth of the federal bureaucracy, which threatens our economy. I will continue that fight until the end of my term in 2012.
I will be forever grateful for the privilege of working for you in the United States Senate. I will now look forward to living full-time in Texas with my family, and to keep working for our state's interests as long as I live.
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God bless America and God bless Texas,
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator, Texas