Longtime Republican Tennessee statesman, Senator Lamar Alexander, has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2020.
On Monday, Alexander released a statement saying, “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. 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’s announced departure comes at a time when long time Senator Bob Corker is set to retire this year. Corker will be replaced by Republican legislator Marsha Blackburn, who defeated former Governor and Mayor of Nashville Phil Bredesen.
“One of the highlights of my time in the Senate has been working with Lamar Alexander,” said Corker. “I often tell him he is the legislator of the decade because of the effective way he has worked across the aisle to pass legislation that directly affects the lives of so many throughout our state and around the country…. I thank Lamar for his friendship and am excited for (his wife) Honey and him as they begin to think about their next chapter together.”
“It is almost impossible to measure the impact of Lamar Alexander’s commitment to Tennessee. His time as governor paved the way for the economic position we enjoy today as a leading state for business, and his educational reforms were ahead of his time,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.
“As a senator, he has distinguished himself as a national leader, while always reminding everyone that our founders designed our government for most of the power to be delegated to the states. No one has served our state longer as a governor and senator, and few, if any, have served it better than Lamar.”
Early speculation about who will run to succeed Alexander includes Bill Haslam who is the outgoing governor and Rep. Diane Black who recently lost in the GOP primary for governor.