By Donna Cassata
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic officials say Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the longest serving woman in the history of Congress, is ready to announce her retirement.
The 78-year-old Maryland Democrat, now in her fifth term, is set to make a statement at a news conference in Fells Point in Baltimore later Monday.
Mikulski became the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress in 2012. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976 and has served in the Senate since 1987. Mikulski is up for re-election next year, but has declined in the past to say whether she would run for what would be a sixth term. The deadline for filing is in January 2016.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss her plans.