Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) has announced he will not seek re-election in 2014.
Chambliss, who has represented Georgia since 2003 in the United States Senate, released a statement Friday morning, explaining his decision to finish his current term, but not to run again:
"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."
Upon Chambliss' announcement, Gov. Nathan Deal praised his service to Georgia.
"Saxby Chambliss' tenure in the Senate saw tumultuous times for our nation, from wars against terrorists to the fiscal crisis that threatens us today. Representing us, Saxby became an expert and a leader on these most important issues. Having served with Saxby in Washington for many years, I understand the gravitational pull of Georgia soil because I too felt the call of home. Saxby didn't wake up every morning and stick his finger in the wind; he started each day asking what he can do to ensure his grandchildren inherit a country every bit as great as the one enjoyed by our generation. History will remember Sen. Saxby Chambliss as a great Georgia leader and an American statesman; I will remember him as a friend."
Chambliss was elected to the United States House of Representatives representing Georgia's 8th District in 1994, and served there until 2003.
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