Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) announced his retirement early this evening.

“The time has now come to pursue other options, other ways of serving. Hence, I am announcing today that I do not intend to seek reelection to Congress in 2010,” the six-term congressman said in a statement. “This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time.”
 
Baird is the third Democrat to officially retire after Reps. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) and Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) recently announced their departures. Six Democrats are leaving their seats to run for another office.

In comparison, there were 28 Democratic retirements in 1994, when the Republicans retook the House.