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Freshman Rep. Eric Massa (NY-29) announced today that he will not be seeking re-election in November, for health reasons. Massa has previously battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and apparently the cancer is back.

In a press call just completed, Massa said that he is a "direct guy, a salty guy who goes 100 miles per hour," and his doctors have told him that he cannot continue to do that. He had his "third major health scare" and hospitalization this winter, which he said he kept private as it was "an intense, personal experience."

In the call, he addressed rumors that he is the subject of an ethics investigation for sexual harassment. He called them rumors, and said "do I, have I, used salty language" in the past, "Yes, and I've apologized where appropriate."

Hinting at a bad medical prognosis, Massa said he is "entering the final phase of life at a controlled pace." He did not take questions during the call and said he was announcing his retirement now so that potential Democratic candidates would have time to get into the race.

Update: While it "goes without saying," it should be said: our thoughts and best wishes go out to Eric and his family.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 01:03 PM PST.

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