Bob Corker announces he will leave U.S. Senate at end of 2018

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – U.S. Senator Bob Corker announced he will not run for re-election and leave the Senate at the end of 2018.

In a statement, the senator wrote, “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 went on to say he told the people when he ran for Senate in 2006 that he couldn’t imagine serving more than two terms.

His statement continued, in full:

Understandably, as we have gained influence, that decision has become more difficult. But I have always been drawn to the citizen legislator model, and while I realize it is not for everyone, I believe with the kind of service I provide, it is the right one for me.

I also believe the most important public service I have to offer our country could well occur over the next 15 months, and I want to be able to do that as thoughtfully and independently as I did the first 10 years and nine months of my Senate career.

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.

I am grateful to the people of Tennessee for the opportunity to serve my state and country. I have been fortunate to do so with an extraordinary staff, and I want to thank them for their incredible dedication. I know that we will continue to have an impact for the remainder of our term, and I look forward to finding other ways to make a difference in the future.

Finally, I want to thank my wife, Elizabeth, and our family, who have made many sacrifices in allowing me to serve. Nothing I have done would have been possible without their love and support.

In response, Governor Bill Haslam said Corker has served his city, the state, and our country “selflessly and with excellence. His statement continued:

He has made a positive difference in the lives of every Tennessean, and every American. Bob has been a close friend for over 40 years. His leadership and wisdom in the Senate will be missed, but I have complete faith in his judgment and respect his decision. I look forward to seeing what he does next. Today, I simply offer the thanks of a grateful state to Bob and his wife Elizabeth and wish them every blessing in the years ahead.

Corker’s announcement will set off a race to fill his senate seat.

Some of the candidates expected to enter the race include Congressman Marsha Blackburn, State Senator Mark Green, and former State Representative Joe Carr.

Conservative activist Andy Ogles has already announced his intention to run for Corker’s seat. Nashville businessman Larry Crim says he is also in the race.

Responses to Corker’s announcement

Lauren Passalacqua, Director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications:

Vulnerable Republican incumbents see the writing on the wall – they don’t want to defend their disastrous health care agenda, which is toxic with voters of every political persuasion, and are terrified to engage in divisive and expensive primaries. Senator Corker’s decision is the latest example of a key theme driving GOP Senate primaries across the country: divided and leaderless, Republican Senate campaigns have nothing to run on but a string of broken promises, and this dynamic will continue to define Republican Senate primaries across the map.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann

I want to first thank Senator Corker for his distinguished career as a public servant. His successful tenure as both Mayor of Chattanooga and in the US Senate have been exemplary. While I appreciate the inquiries regarding my future, I can safely say that at this time I have not given it much thought and remain focused on doing the best job I can representing the Third District of Tennessee.