Alabama GOP Sen. Richard Shelby announces he won’t run for reelection in 2022

Politics

FILE -In this Sept. 24, 2020 file photo, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., speaks during the Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Shelby, the Senate’s fourth most senior member, has told confidantes that he does not intend to run for reelection next year _ prompting some Republicans to urge the powerful, establishment politician to reconsider, even as potential replacements prepare to run for his seat. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (NewsNation Now) — Republican Senator Richard Shelby from Alabama, the Senate’s fourth most senior member, announced Monday that he will not run for reelection in 2022.

“For everything, there is a season. I am grateful to the people of Alabama who have put their trust in me for more than forty years,” Shelby said 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: Appropriations, Rules, Banking and Intelligence.  In these positions of leadership, I have strived to influence legislation that will have a lasting impact – creating the conditions for growth and opportunity.”

The 86-year-old politician has spent 42 years in Washington, serving first in the House before the Senate.

Shelby was elected to the Senate in 1986 as a conservative Democrat during the party’s waning days of power in the Deep South, but he switched to the GOP in 1994. He’s spent the past two years as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, before Democrats gained control of the chamber. All along, he has used his influence to benefit the state’s interests, particularly ports and military manufacturers. He played a key role in bringing an FBI campus and the newly announced Space Command to Huntsville.

In 2017, Shelby bucked his party when he announced that he could not support Republican Roy Moore, who faced sexual misconduct allegations, in the special election for Alabama’s other Senate seat. Shelby has served six terms in the Senate,

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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