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Could Democrat John Breaux (La.) and Republican Don Nickles (Okla.) be the next incumbents to announce their retirements?

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U.S. Senate ’04: Four Down, Two More to Go?

Could Democrat John Breaux (La.) and Republican Don Nickles (Okla.) be the next incumbents to announce their retirements?

Four of the 34 U.S. Senators up for election next year have announced their exiting–Zell Miller (Ga.), John Edwards (S.C.), and Ernest Hollings (S.C.), Democrats all, and Republican Peter Fitzgerald (Ill.)

Now, signs are ominous that the next two senatorial shoes to drop will be those of Republican Don Nickles (Okla.) and Democrat John Breaux (La.). Word on the D.C. cocktail circuit over the weekend was that four-termer and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Nickles was anxious to make more money in the private sector, as was Breaux (who has been courted for every seven-figure lobbying job from legislative pointman of the Recording Industry Association of America to succeeding Jack Valenti as head of the Motion Picture Association of America).

Democratic Rep. Brad Carson, one of his party’s few bright lights in the Sooner State, has signaled he will run for the Senate if Nickles bails. Similarly, Republican Rep. Ernest Istook, stalwart conservative and key Appropriations Committee Member, wants to run, while former Rep. J.C. Watts, the last black Republican in the House, is also being touted for an open Senate seat (although Watts-watchers say that he is thoroughly enjoying his current niche as chairman of Newt Gingrich’s old GOPAC and corporate board member). All bets are off on the Republican side if popular former two-term Gov. Frank Keating decides to forego his current job as head of the American Council of Life Insurers and return to the hustings.

Louisiana Democrats insist that Breaux will hold off an announcement until at least November to pump up friend and fellow Democrat, Rep. Chris John, for succession; the near-certain GOP candidate is staunch conservative Rep. David Vitter. Louisiana is the lone Southern State not to have elected a Republican senator since Reconstruction.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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