WASHINGTON - (AP) Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is backing New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to succeed him as Democratic leader.
Reid issued his endorsement Friday morning, shortly after announcing he would be retiring next year instead of running for re-election.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson says that the choice is up to Senate Democrats, "but Sen. Reid thinks Sen. Schumer has earned it."
Schumer is currently the Senate Democrats' third-in-command, behind Dick Durbin of Illinois. The outspoken and politically astute Schumer was already viewed as Reid's most likely successor. But Reid's decision to bypass Durbin and give his blessing to Schumer could seal the deal.