At least one Republican senator is committed to retiring when his term ends in 2018. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced Tuesday he will not run for reelection in 2018, this is a blow to fellow GOP leaders that are even now trying to dodge future political landmines.
Senator Corker is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; he is just the first to announce that he will retire officially. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has yet to decide whether he will run for reelection.
Corker had this to say about his future, “I look forward to finding other ways to make a difference in the future.” This news came on the heels of more bad news for the GOP. They had just announced they would not hold an eleventh-hour vote on a bill to make good on their almost decade-long promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare because they could not secure the 50 votes needed to let Vice President Pence break a tie.
This decision is also impacted by a hotly contested GOP primary in Alabama where Sen. Luther Strange, the candidate backed by establishment Republicans, is trailing the conservative state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in polls. On Tuesday night Moore was victorious, Stephen Bannon backed him. This signals to other incumbent Republicans that they will face danger in the primaries of 2018.
Bannon’s Breitbart News quickly reported the news of Corker’s retirement on their website saying, “establishment Republican dodges 2018 primary fight.”
Some leaders in both parties lamented Corker’s decision to retire. “His leadership on important issues has helped guide our Conference and had a real impact at home and abroad,” McConnell said in a statement.
Democrats joined in. “I also hope this is a wake-up call to all of us in the Senate that we need to recommit ourselves to creating an environment where reasonable, thoughtful people of both parties can come together to solve problems,” Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday afternoon.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly jumped on the announcement, declaring that Republican incumbents “see the writing on the wall” and are “terrified to engage in divisive and expensive primaries.”
“Senator Corker’s decision is the latest example of a key theme driving GOP Senate primaries across the country: divided and leaderless, Republican Senate campaigns have nothing to run on but a string of broken promises, and this dynamic will continue to define Republican Senate primaries across the map.” Said Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for the organization.
Do you think there will be more incumbent Republicans deciding to retire before the 2018 elections?
Credit: The Hill