Chicago, IL – US Senator Peter Fitzgerald announced Tuesday that he will not seek a second term.
The decision leaves the stunned Illinois Republican Party scrambling for a candidate in a crucial state for the 2004 elections.
The senator says he was concerned about the time he would have to spend away from his wife, his 10-year-old son and his job as senator to campaign.
Fitzgerald faced a tough race in Illinois. Voters swept Democrats into statewide office last year while the rest of the country voted Republican.
Political strategists in both parties saw Fitzgerald as the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for re-election in 2004.
Democrats began lining up against Fitzgerald as early as 2002.