Breaking: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced today that he will not seek reelection in 2020 for the U.S. Senate seat he has held since 2003.
The former Governor of Tennessee, in a press release today, expressed his gratitude to the people of Tennessee for the opportunity to represent them in the U.S. Senate.
“I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate in 2020. The people of Tennessee have been very generous, electing me to serve more combined years as Governor and Senator than anyone else from our state. I am deeply grateful, but now it is time for someone else to have that privilege. I have gotten up every day thinking that I could help make our state and country a little better, and gone to bed most nights thinking that I have. I will continue to serve with that same spirit during the remaining two years of my term.”
Senator Chuck Grassley, United States Senator from Iowa, also weighed in on the announcement expressing his admiration for Sen. Alexander while thanking him for his service to the country.
I regret very much that an outstanding colleague & friend US Senator Lamar Alexander is retiring. Big loss for Tennessee/for the country & for the Senate— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) December 17, 2018
"Alexander is widely respected by Democrats and Republicans, the rare senator who is close to both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. With his retirement, the Senate will lose a key negotiating conduit during times of crisis.
It also means the Tennessee delegation is losing significant seniority in the Senate. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is retiring at the end of this year.
“I often tell him he is the legislator of the decade because of the effective way he has worked across the aisle to pass legislation that directly affects the lives of so many throughout our state and around the country,” Corker said. “As one of the finest statesmen our state has ever seen, Lamar will leave behind a remarkable legacy.“
Alexander has two more years as committee chairman ahead of him. His recent tenure has been defined by an ability to negotiate new health care and education laws with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on the HELP Committee. But since the failure of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal, Alexander has had little success negotiating a bipartisan bill to shore up health insurance markets with Murray."