Graham Retires

As we first told you on Eyewitness News at Noon, Florida's senior U.S. Senator will not seek a fourth term in Washington. Graham said the decision came over the weekend and had a lot to do with his family and how he can best continue to reach his goals.

After a morning working with metal, U.S. Senator Bob Graham took a lunch break then told a cheering crowd he won't run again for the senate.

"I'll have the opportunity to write, possibly teach as a private citizen, to pursue issues that are important to Florida," says Graham.

Graham's decision opens the door for four democrats who want his senate seat.

"Senator Graham is an icon, he would have been re-elected overwhelmingly. Democratic candidates are outstanding, big shoes to fill but will be up for the job," says Scott Maddox, Chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.

"The issues, it seems to me, are the issues of Florida, the economy, how to keep this state moving in a good direction and a positive direction," says Betty Castor, candidate for U.S. Senate.

Lincoln High School marked Graham's 391st work day and introduced his plans to re-build America's infrastructure. Peeling up the track at Lincoln, Senator Graham says this project shows Leon County is making in its schools, something all school districts aren't doing.

Graham's current term keeps him in the Senate until January 2005. He hopes to introduce and pass that major bill for improvements to America's roads, bridges and schools before his term ends. He said his presidential bid reached a premature conclusion, but says he thinks he raised some issues that are now central to the race.