“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 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.”
Corker, R-Tenn., is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, as well as a member of banking, housing and urban affairs and budget committees.
“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,” he said.
Corker served as the state’s commissioner of finance and Chattanooga mayor before he was elected to the Senate in 2006.
“Serving the people of Tennessee in this capacity has been the greatest privilege of my life. And as I spent the month of August traveling across our great state, I was reminded that we live in a unique place full of people who care deeply about the direction of our country,” he said.
“I am grateful to the people of Tennessee for the opportunity to serve my state and country. I have been fortunate to do so with an extraordinary staff, and I want to thank them for their incredible dedication. I know that we will continue to have an impact for the remainder of our term, and I look forward to finding other ways to make a difference in the future.”
Fellow Republican and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander released a statement on Corker’s decision not to seek re-election.
“Even when he’s been investigating smugglers’ tunnels near the Gaza Strip, talking to foreign leaders or giving advice to President Trump, Bob has never let his feet leave the ground in Tennessee,” Alexander said. “He says what he thinks, does what he believes is best for Tennesseans and has helped lead his colleagues on complicated issues involving the federal debt and national security. His absence will leave a big hole in the United States Senate, but I know he’s carefully weighed his decision, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he tackles next.”
Congresswoman Diane Black said she wished Corker well in his future endeavors.
"Sen. Corker has been an effective voice for Tennesseans in the Senate,” Black said. “He is a devoted public servant, and I wish he and his wife, Elizabeth, well in the future."
Tennessee Republican Party chairman Scott Golden also released a statement on Corker’s decision.
“Sen. Corker has served with distinction and fortitude since he was first elected in 2006,” Golden said. “He has exemplified the leadership of past Tennessee senators such as Bill Frist, Fred Thompson and Howard Baker. The Tennessee Republican Party is grateful for his service to our state and all he has done for our party.
“Tennessee has been blessed with great leaders, and that has held true in recent years. As such, I am confident that whoever our party’s voters nominate next year will win in November and continue the legacy of strong, principled Republican leadership that the United States Senate has seen from Tennessee."