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  Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry to retire
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ContributorJ.R. 
Last EditedJ.R.  Jan 24, 2010 05:49pm
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News DateMonday, January 25, 2010 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionArkansas Rep. Marion Berry is expected to announce his retirement tomorrow morning, according to three sources briefed on the decision.

Berry will become the sixth Democrat in a competitive seat to leave in the last two months but the first to announce his retirement since the party's special election loss in Massachusetts last Tuesday.

"The message coming out of the Massachusetts special election is clear: No Democrat is safe," said National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Ken Spain.

Berry, first elected in 1996, had been noncommittal about his re-election bid for months although, privately, his allies insisted he was planning to run for re-election.

While Berry had rarely been challenged in the 1st district over the past decade or so, the seat has a clear Republican tilt as Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) won it with 59 percent in 2008.

Arkansas will be a huge focus of Republican efforts in the fall with Berry and Rep. Vic Snyder (D) retiring and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) in deep trouble as she seek re-election.
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