Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced today that he will not seek re-election for a fourth term in 2020. From Politico:

“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,” the 78-year old Alexander said in a closely-held statement on Monday. “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.”

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.

Alexander serves as the chairman for the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee. He will have two years to work on a compromise with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on Obamacare because a federal judge in Texas ruled the law unconstitutional.

Alexander remains popular in Tennessee, but he would be on the same ticket as President Donald Trump. He’s not as moderate as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), but he isn’t as right-leaning as those who support Trump. He has supported legislation Trump hates, including “the 2013 bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill.”

In more bipartisan approaches, Alexander didn’t “sign a 2015 letter to Iranian leaders undercutting President Barack Obama‘s efforts to reach a nuclear deal.” He dropped out of the Republican leadership in 2011 in order to “pursue more bipartisan legislating.”

Alexander’s retirement means Tennessee will lose more seniority in the senate since Sen. Bob Corker decided not to run again.

Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn won the senate seat that Corker will vacate.

The Tennessean listed these possible contenders: current Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, newly elected Republican Rep. Mark Green, Republican Rep. Diane Black, entrepreneur Randy Boyd, and US Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty.

Possible Democrats: Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, state Sen. Jeff Yarbro, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons and Iraq War veteran James Mackler.

More than likely the seat will remain in Republican hands.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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