Five term Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014.
The 73-year-old Democrat told The Associated Press that by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81. Harkin said exiting allows a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.
The announcement comes as a surprise. Harkin had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.