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Illinois Rep. Johnson expected to say he'll retire
Illinois Rep. Johnson expected to say he's abandoning re-election bid; GOP seeks replacement
By The Associated Press

URBANA, Ill. (AP) ' Longtime Illinois Congressman Tim Johnson has never fit the mold of the reliable, party-line Republican.

But his surprising decision to drop his re-election campaign has left his party scrambling to fend off Democratic efforts to pick up seats in the state and retake the House.

Johnson is expected to announce he is abandoning his bid for a seventh term at a news conference later in Urbana. Republican officials with knowledge of his decision confirmed Johnson plans to retire at the end of his term, though his reasons for retiring remain unclear.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady says he thinks Johnson is tired.

Johnson was first elected to Congress in 2000. He built a reputation for breaking with his party on certain issues.

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