Sen. Brownback Retiring

CNN reports that Sen. Sam Brownback intends to retire from the Senate at the end of his current term so that he can run for governor of Kansas:

Sen. Sam Brownback will announce Thursday he is retiring from the Senate when his term ends in 2010, allowing the Kansas Republican to explore a run for governor.

He will be the second GOP senator this year to publicly state he is leaving at the close of the 111th Congress.

Brownback, who unsuccessfully sought the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, will not reveal his future political plans during the three news conferences planned for Thursday in Kansas. But a source close to Brownback said he will file gubernatorial paperwork in January.

Under Kansas law, by waiting until next month Brownback will not have to disclose how much money he has raised until early January 2010. Brownback, a prominent figure in conservative circles, is expected to tap into a national fundraising base established during his years in the Senate as well as his failed presidential bid.

Brownback’s presidential campaign barely even got off the ground and he dropped out soon after the Iowa caucuses, though he did manage to fill his fledgling campaign team with a variety of ultra-right-wing activists like Frank Pavone and Tom Monaghan, many of whom will undoubtedly rally to his cause when he officially makes the announcement.