Saxby Chambliss has been a fixture in Georgia politics for quite some time. That is about to change according to an article at Politico.
Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who has positioned himself as a bipartisan deal-maker on the budget, will not run for a third term next year, according to a source familiar with his plans.
Chambliss has informed colleagues and staff that he will retire at the end of his term, a surprise move given that he had insisted for months that he planned to run again in 2014. But Chambliss has grown increasingly frustrated with the pervasive gridlock in the Senate — particularly its inability to reach a grand bargain to slash deficits.
Chambliss has generally been considered one of the safer incumbents in the senate. Observers note that Chambliss retiring will lead to a dogfight for his vacant seat.
A request for comment from Senator Chambliss’ office was not immediately responded to. We will update this article should that comment become available.
Edited to add:
The following is a statement from Senator Saxby Chambliss regarding his decision to not run for reelection in 2014.
WASHINGTON –Today, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., released the following statement:
“After much contemplation and reflection, I have decided not to run for re-election to the Senate in 2014.
‘This is a decision Julianne and I have thought through and prayed about for many weeks. I am humbled by and grateful for the extraordinary trust of Georgians, who have allowed me to represent them for 20 years in the United States House and Senate.
“I am proud of my conservative voting record in fulfilling those duties. In 2008, I was honored to receive more votes than any other statewide elected official in the history of Georgia. Lest anyone think this decision is about a primary challenge, I have no doubt that had I decided to be a candidate, I would have won re-election. In these difficult political times, I am fortunate to have actually broadened my support around the state and the nation due to the stances I have taken.
“Instead, this is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress, especially on issues that are the foundation of our nation’s economic health. The debt-ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent fiscal-cliff vote showed Congress at its worst and, sadly, I don’t see the legislative gridlock and partisan posturing improving anytime soon. For our nation to be strong, for our country to prosper, we cannot continue to play politics with the American economy.
“I never intended to come to Washington and stay for 20 years. But in that time, I have been proud to fight for the economic good of Georgia and the security of our nation. That includes work on four farm bills, 18 defense-authorization bills, chairmanship of the House Terrorism Subcommittee in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and being chairman or ranking member of major Senate committees for 8 of the past 10 years.
“Perhaps the greatest honor has been to champion our men and women in uniform, their families, and the Georgia military bases and contractors who create private-sector jobs.
“I am truly grateful for the love, support, trust and assistance of family and friends who have helped me along the way. I am especially indebted to my staff – past and present – whose loyalty and knowledge have not only served me well, but have served the people of Georgia superbly.
“There are two years left in my term, and there is lots left to do. I am in good health, and I plan to continue working hard to represent the best interests of Georgians, and to do my utmost to help restore America to its economic greatness.”