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  McCarthy to Retire in 2004 (MO-5)
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ContributorStephen Yellin 
Last EditedStephen Yellin  Dec 21, 2003 08:45am
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MediaNewspaper - Kansas City Star
News DateSunday, December 21, 2003 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionU.S. Rep. Karen McCarthy revealed Saturday that she would not seek re-election to Congress next year.

The five-term Kansas City Democrat, who disclosed in March that she is an alcoholic and has struggled with ethical issues and high staff turnover, said she was seeking more tranquillity.

“I want to focus on balance in my public life,” she said in an interview with The Kansas City Star. “Too often, I've put my career and helping others ahead of my own needs. I made sacrifices willingly; it was what I did best.”

The key now, said the 56-year-old McCarthy, is looking after herself.

“What is it that Karen needs to be happy and satisfied and at peace?'' she said. “I wasn't seeking quality time for Karen. So it was a lot of energy going out. I'm looking for energy coming back in – that renews.”

With the 2004 election about 10 months away, McCarthy's announcement will ignite speculation about a possible successor. Two Democrats and two Republicans have already entered the race. But the focus will be most intense on former two-term Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver.

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