Saying "this is my moment to step aside," while acknowledgingthat he is in "the toughest shape of my political career," SenateBanking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) announcedtoday he will retire from office at the end of the year.

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He said the recent deaths of his sister and close friend Sen.Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and other challenges have "forced me totake stock of my life."

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The veteran lawmaker made the announcement outside his home inEast Haddam, Conn.

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Dodd, who has been at the center of the Senate's debates onregulatory restructuring and health care reform, has received moneyfrom the political action committees of both CUNA and NAFCU for hisreelection campaign. During the current six-year campaign cycle,CUNA's PAC gave Dodd $7,000, and NAFCU's PAC gave him $6,000.

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