Sen. Bob Corker will not seek re-election in 2018 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Sen. Bob Corker will not seek re-election in 2018

Sen. Bob Corker (Source: CNBC) Sen. Bob Corker (Source: CNBC)

Senator Bob Corker announced he will not seek re-election in 2018.

“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 a news release.

Corker served in the Senate since 2007. Now, speculation is running rampant about who will run for the open seat and what Corker will do next.

Corker said Wednesday that he never really planned to serve more than two terms in the Senate.

"In my gut, there was never a day where I was absolutely going to run," Corker said.

Despite speculation that Corker is leaving the Senate because of frustrations with President Donald Trump's administration, the senator said that is not true.

"Is it frustrating we are not doing major bipartisan legislation on the Senate floor? No question. Is that the reason that I made this decision? No," Corker said.

Could Corker run for Governor of Tennessee? The current senator was noncommittal on the topic.

"There are a lot of people who have been working hard, and it doesn't seem to me that that's something to think about, but you know over the course of the next 15 months who knows what might happen," Corker said.

Speculation about who may try to fill his seat has ranged from Governor Bill Haslam, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and even Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning. Corker said he's spoken with all three of them, but he did not say whether any were running or if he'd endorse them.

You can read Corker's full statement on his decision to not seek re-election below:

“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.

“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. 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.”

Fellow Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander released the following statement on Corker's announcement:

“Even when he’s been investigating smugglers’ tunnels near the Gaza strip, talking to foreign leaders, or giving advice to President Trump, Bob has never let his feet leave the ground in Tennessee. He says what he thinks, does what he believes is best for Tennesseans, and has helped lead his colleagues on complicated issues involving the federal debt and national security. His absence will leave a big hole in the United States Senate, but I know he’s carefully weighed his decision, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he tackles next.”

Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen released the following statement on Corker's announcement:

“I was disappointed to learn that Senator Bob Corker will not be seeking re-election in 2018. Senator Corker has been easy to work with, and we have developed an excellent relationship since beginning our careers in Congress in 2006. Bob is highly respected for his knowledge of the issues, especially foreign policy. He has exhibited moments of independence reminiscent of past great Tennessee Senators. I have enjoyed his friendship and collegiality since serving together in Tennessee State government, and I will miss serving with him in Congress.” 

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland had the following to say:

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