Hutchison announces plans to retire in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has announced that she will retire after her current term expires.

In a letter released Thursday, Hutchison said she will not run for re-election in 2012. Hutchison has said she might retire and then changed her mind several times in the last few years. In 2010, she challenged Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary for governor, but lost.

Hutchison has been in the Senate since 1993.

In her letter, Hutchison said she had intended to leave office sooner, but was persuaded to stay on to "avoid disadvantage to our state."