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Republican sen. Lamar Alexander announced Monday that he will not have to re-election in 2020, say it is time for “someone else” to have the privilege of representing Tennessee in the Senate.
“I’m not a candidate for re-election to the Senate of the United States in the year 2020,” the 78-year-old Alexander said in a statement.
Alexander, who served as Chairman of the Senate health, education, labor and pensions Committee, and previously as Governor of Tennessee. He also worked as the Secretary of the Department of Education under the then President George H. W. Bush.
“The people in Tennessee are very generous, the choice to serve me, more joint years as a Governor and senator, as somebody from our state,” he said. “I am deeply grateful, but now it’s time for someone else to this privilege.”
He added, “I think every day that I could be of help to our state and make the country a little better, and went to bed most nights thinking that I have. I will continue to serve with the same spirit, during the remaining two years of my tenure.”
Alexander’s retirement comes as the state decided the other Republican senator Bob Corker, against running for re-election this year. Republican Marsha Blackburn defeated Democrat Phil Bredesen, the state’s former Governor, in this competition.
“As one of the best statesmen, which has seen our state ever to leave Lamar behind a remarkable legacy will said,” Corker said in a statement. “I know he will push through the next two years, with great endurance, and I look forward to everything he will bring, in the name of the Tennesseans, as he completes his service in Washington.”
Alexander’s retirement is expected to spark a contest for the seat.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.