Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, will not run for re-election in 2014, leaving a vacant seat in a state that has historically voted Republican.
Analysts expect that Brendan Johnson, Johnson’s son and the U.S. attorney for South Dakota, will emerge as a potential candidate in the 2014 election, though he has not announced any formal plans to run for his father’s seat, Reuters reports.
Johnson’s retirement would leave open his Senate seat and chairmanship at the Senate Banking Committee. He has led the committee since 2011, taking over for former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) after his retirement.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is the second-ranking Democrat on the committee, but he may choose to take on a leadership role in the Senate Armed Services Committee after Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) retires, according to Reuters.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is next in line for the committee’s top spot, followed by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
“The immediate question becomes who is next on deck,” Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, said, Reuters reports. “When you go through seniority and those next in line, you have three lawmakers that are likely to pass on the gavel, and it could eventually fall to Sherrod Brown to lead the panel.”
After a decade in the South Dakota House of Representatives, Johnson was elected to the Senate in 1997. He has faced numerous challenges, including the bursting of a blood vessel in his brain in 2006, after which he had to undergo physical and speech therapy.