Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has announced he won’t seek re-election in 2022, according to a statement released on Monday by the 86-year-old lawmaker who has previously said he will retire at the end of the current Congress.
“Today I announce that I will not seek a seventh term in the United States Senate in 2022,” Shelby, who served in the Senate longer than any other Alabamian, wrote in the release.
“Although I plan to retire, I am not leaving today,” he added. “I have two good years remaining to continue my work in Washington. I have the vision and the energy to give it my all.”
Shelby has served in Congress for 42 years. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 1986, where he was the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The lawmaker changed party affiliation and became a Republican in 1994. He currently serves as the vice-chairman and leading Republican on the committee.
“Thank you again for the honor you have given me—the honor to serve the people of Alabama in Congress for the last 42 years,” Shelby wrote. “I look forward to what is to come for our great state and our great nation.”
Shelby is the Senate’s fourth most senior member.
Today I announce that I will not seek a seventh term in the Senate in 2022. For everything, there is a season. I am grateful to the people of Alabama who have put their trust in me for more than forty years. https://t.co/UXNJyc3OPC
— Richard Shelby (@SenShelby) February 8, 2021
“During my time in the Senate, I have been given great opportunity, having chaired four committees: Appropriations, Rules, Banking, and Intelligence,” Shelby said. “In these positions of leadership, I have strived to influence legislation that will have a lasting impact—creating the conditions for growth and opportunity.”
“I have done my best to address challenges and find ways to improve the day-to-day lives of all Americans,” the senator continued. “I have also focused on the economic challenges of Alabamians, increasing access to education and promoting facilities to improve the quality of schools.”
Shelby was born and raised in Birmingham and is a fifth-generation Alabamian and a graduate of the University of Alabama’s undergraduate and law programs. He started his career as a city prosecutor in Tuscaloosa and went on to serve as a U.S. magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama before working as a special assistant attorney general.
The lawmaker’s announcement comes after several other high-profile Republican senators recently announced plans to not run for reelection, including Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who cited partisan gridlock in Congress and political polarization as the primary reasons.
From NTD News