Corker Is Toying With Retirement

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee is considering forfeiting his Senate seat and not running for reelection in 2018.

“As far as what am I going to do in the future, I’m still contemplating the future,” the senator told CNN. “It’s a tremendous privilege to do what I do, and to weigh in on the big issues. … But I have not decided what I’m going to do in the future.”

Corker, 65, serves as the chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and his name was floated for the Secretary of State position in President Donald Trump’s cabinet.

The senator is only serving his second term in the Senate, and he is still more than young enough to seek reelection. If he decides not to run again, he would leave his seat on the foreign relations committee open and would give Democrats an opportunity to snag another chair.

The senator reportedly has roughly $7 million in his campaign coffers, and hired Ward Baker, who led the Republican Senate campaign committee in 2016.

Corker has yet to receive the endorsement from Trump, who appeared angry at the senator’s comments regarding his treatment of the Charlottesville riots.

“The President has not yet, has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. And we need for him to be successful. Our nation needs to be successful,” Corker said in late August.

The president responded by tweeting, “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!”

Trump and Corker still remain in contact, despite their disagreements over the president’s response to the Charlottesville protests. Corker says the pair still plays golf, and he and his staff remain in regular contact with the White House.

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