Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee won’t seek reelection in 2020

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) left, sits with outgoing Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam during a ceremony unveiling Haslam's official portrait in Nashville on Monday.
(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says he won’t seek re-election in 2020.

Alexander said in a news release Monday that he’s deeply grateful for being elected to serve more combined years as governor and senator than anyone else in Tennessee. But he said now it’s time for someone else to have that privilege.

The Maryville, Tenn., native served as governor from 1979 until 1987, and helped bring the auto industry to the state. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002 and was reelected in 2008 and 2014.

Alexander’s announcement leaves an open 2020 race after a 2018 election in which Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee declined to run again. Republican Sen.-elect Marsha Blackburn won an expensive, tough race against former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen.