Governor Bill Haslam has announced he’s not running for Bob Corker’s U.S. Senate seat.
Haslam released a statement Thursday morning, saying he “[wants] to remain completely focused” on his remaining time as governor.
My statement on the 2018 U.S. Senate race. pic.twitter.com/1pLR0MhSEd
— Gov. Bill Haslam (@BillHaslam) October 5, 2017
Last month, reports from the governor’s office indicated he had not ruled out a Senate run after Corker announced his decision not to seek re-election.
Haslam was first elected governor in 2010 and can't run again next year because of term limits. His vast personal wealth and popularity in the state would have given other Republicans contenders pause had he decided to run for Senate.
Other Republicans voicing an interest in running include U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, former Rep. Stephen Fincher and state Sen. Mark Green.
Haslam's full statement:
“While Crissy and I will always be grateful for all of the encouragement and support to run for the United States Senate, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for Senate in 2018. The primary reason is that I want to remain completely focused on my job as governor. I know that being a candidate for the Senate during my last 15 months as governor would be a distraction from the task at hand. And, while I have loved being a mayor and a governor, I don’t feel the same call to run for Senate at this point. At the end of my term, I will have been in public office for 15 years. I feel like I can be most helpful in my next service as a private citizen.”
NewsChannel 5 also asked Governor Haslam if he had considered running for President in 2020, to which he said he hadn't decided yet.