Washington -- Sen. John B. Breaux, D-La., a member of the Senate Finance Committee and a often, a key mediator between parties on critical tax issues, said he would not seek re-election in 2004.

Breaux was a supporter of President George W. Bush’s sweeping tax cut in 2001, and more recently, worked with the House Ways and Means Committee on the Medicare reform bill — legislation that includes tax-preferred health savings accounts.

Breaux's retirement marks the latest in a series of Democratic Senators  who previously announced their decisions not to stand for re-election.

That roster includes John Edwards, of North Carolina, Bob Graham of Florida, Zell Miller of Georgia and Ernest Hollings of South Carolina.

On the other side of the aisle, Republican Senators Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois and Don Nickles of Oklahoma, said they would not seek re-election in 2004.

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