PHOENIX - U.S. Senator Jon Kyl has announced he will retire after his third term ends in 2012.
He made the announcement Thursday at a 10 a.m. news conference in Phoenix with his wife, Carol, at his side.
Kyl, 68, said he will retire in January 2013. He said health was not an issue.
Kyl was first elected to the Senate in 1994 after serving 10 years in the U.S. House. He is currently the Senate Republican Whip and serves on the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees.
Kyl is the fifth senator to announce plans to retire, with Jim Webb, D-Va., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., all leaving after 2012.
In explaining his decision Kyl said, "I thought that I would only serve two terms … and I thought that would be enough."
He said there comes a time to consider other things and he and his wife had concluded that now was his time.
"I never anticipated I would be in public service for 26 years in the U.S. Congress," Kyl said.
Kyl said he would not turn down an offer to run on a Republican ticket as Vice President, but saw the possibility of that happening as zero. He said he would remain active in politics but did not anticipate returning to public office.
Kyl said emphatically that he would not run for Arizona governor or any other public office in Arizona.
He said he spoke with Sen. John McCain Wednesday where they shared plans to "make the next 22 months exciting."
"I hope that they will remember I cared very much about my state," Kyl said. "That I was a good person, that I was ethical, that I tried to achieve my goals in a reasonable way … with all the energy I could muster."