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LaHood to retire

From NBC's Chuck Todd and Mark Murray

Illinois GOP Rep. Ray LaHood -- one of best talkers among House Republicans -- won't seek another term. "The decision comes just more than a month after the long-time Republican representative said he would seek an eighth term in Congress and was not going to apply for the Bradley University presidential post. He said in July he would make an official re-election announcement when he begins circulating petitions for candidacy in August." It will be a challenge for Democrats to make a play for this open seat next year. In 2004, Bush beat Kerry in this Peoria-based district, 58%-42%. But if Obama's on the ticket and with the right candidate, Democrats could have a shot.