WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic officials tell The Associated Press that Sen. Tim Johnson plans to announce his retirement later today.
He captured the imagination of people by returning to the Senate, sometimes using a motorized scooter, after recovering from a brain hemorrhage in 2006.
His departure gives Republicans a prime opportunity to pick up a seat in 2014.
Johnson is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. And he's the fifth Democrat to decide to step aside at the end of the term, as have two Republicans. The GOP must gain six seats in 2014 to win a majority.
The officials who described Johnson's plans spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to pre-empt an announcement. The announcement is set for 3:00 p.m. today at the University of South Dakota.
Former GOP Gov. Mike Rounds has announced his candidacy for the seat.