Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election to his seat in 2018, making him the first Republican senator to announce his retirement from the Senate ahead of the midterm elections.
A two-term senator and the former mayor of Chattanooga, Corker made the announcement in a statement Tuesday afternoon. He said that while he never imagined he’d stick around for more than 12 years in the Senate, the decision became more difficult due to the considerable influence he has accrued, particularly as chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“After much thought, consideration and family discussion over the past year, Elizabeth and I have decided that I will leave the United States Senate when my term expires at the end of 2018,” Corker said in the statement. “When I ran for the Senate in 2006, I told people that I couldn’t imagine serving for more than two terms. Understandably, as we have gained influence, that decision has become more difficult.”
“Serving the people of Tennessee in this capacity has been the greatest privilege of my life. And as I spent the month of August traveling across our great state, I was reminded that we live in a unique place full of people who care deeply about the direction of our country,” Corker said.