Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will not run for 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,” the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said in a statement.
“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.”
The GOP frontrunner for Corker’s seat would likely be Marsha Blackburn, who in June announced she would not challenge Corker and instead run for re-election in the House. But Corker’s bombshell announcement might change her mind. Other Republicans include former state Rep. Joe Carr and state Sen. Mark Green.