Among Democrats electing not to seek re-election this fall, U.S. Rep. David Obey certainly is in the first rank. Obey, powerful chairman of the Appropriations Committee, announced Wednesday he’s retiring after 41 years representing Wisconsin’s 7th District. Born in Okmulgee, Obey was just 30 when first elected. He said he is “bone tired” and believed it was his time to step down. There was speculation Republican Sean Duffy’s gathering campaign, in what looks to be a GOP year, had something to do with Obey’s decision. The Washington Post reports Obey had $1.4 million in his campaign chest at the end of March, and incumbents with that kind of dough don’t often leave of their own accord. Besides running Appropriations, Obey is best known as a prickly character, having loud dust-ups on Capitol Hill with Republicans and Democrats alike. His retirement is a big loss for Democrats, even if another Democrat fills his seat. Obey’s experience, mostly as a big spender, won’t be easily replaced.