Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection next year, another blow to the Republican establishment on the same day the latest Republican effort to revamp the Affordable Care Act failed.
Corker’s retirement will create what is likely to be a highly contested, ideologically driven Republican primary. It also creates a vacuum among Senate Republicans for leaders on national security issues.
“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 Chattanooga Republican said in a statement.
Corker comes from his state’s long tradition of establishment Republican figures who went to the Senate with ambitions that went beyond just the state’s expansive borders. Two of the last five Senate GOP leaders have been from Tennessee, while Corker and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., are two of the most powerful committee chairmen.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Paul Kane, Karoun Demirjian