Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced Monday that he will not run for re-election in 2022 after 40 years in the U.S. Senate.
“For everything, there is a season,” Shelby, 86, wrote in a statement. “I have been fortunate to serve in the U.S. Senate longer than any other Alabamian. During my time in the Senate, I have been given great opportunity, having chaired four committees.” He added:
In these positions of leadership, I have strived to influence legislation that will have a lasting impact — creating the conditions for growth and opportunity. Although I plan to retire, I am not leaving today. I have two good years remaining to continue my work in Washington. I have the vision and the energy to give it my all.
“I look forward to what is to come for our great state and our great nation,” he concluded.
Shelby is Alabama’s longest-serving senator, a presence in the upper chamber since 1987.
Shelby’s retirement comes just weeks after Democrats regained control of the Senate by the slimmest of margins. The split is 50-50 in the chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris representing the tiebreaker vote in her role as Senate president.
Shelby was a Democrat for the first seven years of his tenure in the Senate before he switched to the Republican Party in 1994.
“It has been frustrating because I thought there was room in the Democratic Party for a conservative southern Democrat such as myself,” he said at the time. “But I can tell you there is not.”
The UPI contributed to this report.