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Top Blue Dog Announces Retirement

Good news tonight for the GOP from The Hotline:

Rep. John Tanner (D-TN), a leading Blue Dog Dem, will retire at the end of his current term, Dem sources tell Hotline OnCall.

Tanner has begun informing key House Dems of his decision -- one that will make his seat a prime pickup opportunity for GOPers. He has served 11 terms in Congress representing northwest TN, a district based around Jackson, Clarksville and Union City.

Tanner will be the second Dem to announce his retirement in recent days, following Rep. Dennis Moore's (D-KS) decision late last week to step down. Both men represent districts that voted heavily for Pres. Bush twice; in '08, Tanner's CD gave Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a 56%-43% margin, while Moore's Kansas City-based seat gave Pres. Obama a narrow 51%-48% margin.

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