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Even Without Carl Levin, There'll Be Plenty of Gray Hair in the Senate

Sen. Levin awards the Bronze Star to Cpt. Kelly Buckner of Saginaw.
Levin awards the Bronze Star to Capt. Kelly Buckner.

Even the exit of a crop of senators born before World War II doesn't seem to be having much effect on the average age in the U.S. Senate, the Washington Post reports.

That's because the freshmen arriving in recent years haven't exactly been dewy-faced youngsters. (Example: 68-year-old Angus King, a Maine independent.)

Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, 78, last week became the fourth senator age 70 and older to announce he'll retire instead of running for reelection next year.

The other three, all Democrats, are Jay Rockefeller (75) of West Virginia; Tom Harkin (73) of Iowa; and Frank Lautenberg (89) of New Jersey.

The younger, and Republican, Saxby Chambiss (69) of Georgia and Mike Johanns (62) of Nebraska have also said they won't run next year.

The average age in the Senate is 62, according to the Congressional Research Service, compared with 57 in the House of Representatives.

Of course the U.S. Constitution gives the House an edge in attracting youth: senators must be at least 30 years old when they take office, representatives just 25.

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