NM's Sen. Domenici leaves office after 36 years

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Pete Domenici has packed up his office and said goodbye to his staff, but with only days left in office, retirement still seems unreal to New Mexico's longest-serving senator.

The 76-year-old Republican is retiring after 36 years in the Senate early next month.

But Domenici says he'd like to keep the job he loves.

Domenici says he'll divide his time in retirement between Washington, where he hopes to study and write about nuclear power with a foundation, and Albuquerque.

His retirement will be much more active than he had anticipated. Doctors tell him a degenerative brain disease he was diagnosed with hasn't progressed as expected.

Domenici says he feels better now than he has in several years.

Domenici says he's comfortable after meeting with his successor, Democrat Tom Udall.