WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMC) - 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:
Fellow Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander released the following statement on Corker's announcement:
Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen released the following statement on Corker's announcement:
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland had the following to say: