Here is the text of Chuck Hagel's announcement today (the text from Sandhills PAC):
Hagel Announces He Will Not Seek A Third Term In Senate
OMAHA, NE – United States Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) announced this morning that he will not seek a third term in the United States Senate and does not intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008. Below is a text of Hagel’s remarks delivered at the Omaha Press Club:
“I will not seek a third term in the United States Senate, nor do I intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008. It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve my country and represent my fellow Nebraskans in the U.S. Senate. My family and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity and the trust placed in me by the people of Nebraska. It has enriched all of us.
I have always tried to live up to the promise I made to the people of Nebraska the day I announced my intention to seek this Senate seat. On March 30, 1995 I said, “I intend to be a Senator all Nebraskans can be proud of.” I hope I’ve done that, and made some contributions to our state and country along the way. History will sort that out.
I am proud of my Senate record and deeply grateful to all those who helped get me there and keep me there, and those who have worked so hard for the people of Nebraska—my staff. I would like to particularly thank Mike McCarthy, Ken Stinson and Lou Ann Linehan. I owe a great deal to these three individuals.
I would have been unable to do my job without the love, wise perspective and constant encouragement of my wife Lilibet, my daughter Allyn and my son Ziller. My appreciation for their support is immeasurable. I would also like to thank my brothers, Tom and Mike, for their constant support and occasional brotherly constructive evaluations.
I said after I was elected in 1996 that 12 years in the Senate would probably be enough. It is. I have always believed that democracies work best when there is a constant cycle of new energy and ideas, and fresh leadership.
I will leave the Senate with the same enthusiasm, sense of purpose and love of my country that I started with. I leave maybe a little wiser, surely a little more experienced and with a very respectable amount of humility.
Public service has always been a big part of my life, and I hope to have another opportunity to serve my country in some new capacity down the road.
This afternoon, my family and I will return to Washington, and I will go back to work. I look forward to working as hard in the remaining 16 months of my Senate term for the people of Nebraska as I have over the last 11 years.