Posted at 11:54 AM ET, 06/07/2011

Rep. Dan Boren won’t seek reelection

By Aaron Blake

Democratic Rep. Dan Boren is set to announce later today that he won’t seek another term, becoming the first House incumbent this year to retire without running for higher office.

A source close to the Congressman confirms Boren will announce his retirement at a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m. eastern time in Muskogee, Okla. Already, Boren’s predecessor, former Democratic Rep. Brad Carson, has reportedly announced plans to run for the seat.

Boren’s retirement is particularly troubling for Democrats, as he leaves behind an Oklahoma seat that Republicans will be favored to win. As one of few Democrats to survive in a conservative district in 2010, the son of former Sen. David Boren (D-Okla.) seemed to have a lock on a district that voted nearly two-to-one for Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) in the 2008 presidential race.

The younger Boren was first elected in 2004 and is just 37 years old, which will lead to questions about why he’s retiring and what his future plans may be. There were no answers to those questions early Tuesday.

More than other states, Oklahoma swung against the Democrats in the 2008 presidential election and then in the 2010 governor’s race, when Republicans swept every major race except Boren’s.

Through it all, though, Boren continued to win, including with a healthy 57 percent of the vote last November, even as so many other well-liked conservative Democrats fell victim to their national party’s agenda in Washington.

It’s far too early to say whether his retirement will be part of any kind of trend. In fact, the retirement picture is notable for it’s complete lack of trends; Boren is the first to head out the door who isn’t running for Senate. (So far, five House incumbents in each party are running for Senate.)

This comes in contrast to the Senate, where there have already been six retirements on the Democratic side and the party faces a tougher 2012 because of it.

While there is a premium on senators making up their minds early, the House retirement picture tends to come into focus much later. That goes double this cycle, when members are waiting to see how their districts are redrawn in the decennial redistricting process.

Though the GOP-controlled redistricting process is already finished in Oklahoma, Republicans spared Boren major changes and effectively gave him a very similar district to the one he has now.

Boren’s seat becomes the second open Democratic seat that Republicans will be favored to win — the other being the seat that Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) was effectively redistricted out of (Donnelly decided to run for Senate rather than in the new district). The GOP also has a chance to win seats being vacated by Senate candidates Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Martin Heinrich (N.M.).

Republican retirees are largely leaving behind conservative districts. ... l?hpid=z11