In a blow to Democrats efforts to retain control of the Senate in the upcoming 2012 election cycle, Democrat Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has announced that he will not seek re-election next year. A Vietnam Vet, Webb served as Secretary of the Navy during Ronald Reagan's second term and in the 1990s would find work as an author and screenwriter.
Although Webb came into office on a sweeping Democrat wave and President Obama won Virginia by 6% in 2008, the state began tilting back towards the Republicans not even a year later when Bob McDonnell beat Democrat nominee Creigh Deeds by a 17% margin in the 2009 gubernatorial race. This was followed by the 2010 GOP 'tsunami' where the Republicans picked up three Congressional seats, leaving them with 8 of Virgina's 11 Congressional districts.
Webb's announcement comes less than a month after North Dakota Democrat Senator Kent Conrad announced that he would not run for a fifth term. This would leave the GOP in an advantageous position to pick up the senate seats from both Virginia and North Dakota.
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