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Herseth Sandlin says she hasn't decided on senate run

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

VERMILLION (AP) -- Former U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has been named as a possible successor to retiring South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson, but she is declining to say whether she will run for the post.

Herseth Sandlin told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she appreciates the encouragement she's received but added, "I haven't focused on the future political opportunities."

The 66-year-old Johnson announced his retirement to reporters in his hometown of Vermillion. He says he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren and acknowledged that the brain hemorrhage he suffered in 2006 has slowed his speech and movement.

Another possible successor discussed by South Dakota Democrats is Johnson's son, Brendan Johnson, the state's U.S. attorney. The senator says he hasn't "discussed in detail" who might follow him.