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Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill are worrying that more House Republicans will decide in the coming weeks not to run for re-election next November.

Already, 14 Republican representatives have announced they won’t seek re-election or will run for another office in 2006. Reportedly on the “watch list” as possible additional retirees are New York Republican Representatives Sherwood Boehlert, John McHugh, and John Sweeney.

Also, Wisconsin sources tell us that 65-year-old Rep. Tom Petri (R.-Wis.) may step down if he decides he has no chance of winning the chairmanship of either the Education and Workforce Committee or the Transportation Committee. The moderate Petri is currently second-ranking Republican on both panels.

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