published Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Sen. Alexander stepping down from a top GOP Senate post

NASHVILLE — U.S. Senate Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced today he is stepping down from his top Republican leadership job to focus more on top issues facing the nation’s future and working to resolve gridlock in the chamber.

In a floor speech and a letter to colleagues, Alexander, 71, said he will quit his job in January as Republican Conference chairman, the GOP’s No. 3 post.

He also will not seek the No. 2 post as Senate Republican whip job in the next Congress. He emphasized he still intends to seek reelection to a third Senate term in 2014.

“My reason for doing that is this. Stepping down from the Republican leadership will liberate me to spend more time trying to work for more results on issues I care most about,” Alexander said in his floor speech.

“That means stopping runaway regulation, runaway spending, but it also means confronting that timidity that allows health care spending to squeeze out support for roads, support for research, support for scholarships and other government functions that make it easier to create private sector jobs.

“I want to do more to make the Senate a more effective place to address serious issues,” he said.

As conference chairman he has worked to help the Republican leader and individual members succeed and foster consensus within the GOP caucus and suggest GOP messages, he said.

After nine years, “I’ve concluded this is now the best way for me to make a contribution.”

Alexander, a former Tennessee governor, former U.S. Education Secretary and two-time GOP presidential candidate, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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XGSBoss said...

Reports are that Sen. Alexander actually had a semblance of a heart and brain, in strict opposition to memos put out by the Tea Party Caucus to abolish said superfluous organs from the grounds of Congress.

September 20, 2011 at 10:49 a.m.
chatttn said...

XGS...too funny! But in all seriousness, I hope it's not health related. I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

September 20, 2011 at 11:31 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Although he won't admit it, perhaps this is evidence that Alexander has a conscience and will not prostitute himself to the hate-mongers who will do anything to defeat policies proposed by a Democrat. Maybe LA's political ethos will lead him to become a statesman and a leader.
Just hoping.

September 20, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.
NoMyth said...

No one should be re-elected at age 74. Give it up already. These politicians let their egos get in the way of what is best for our nation.

September 20, 2011 at 8:47 p.m.
rolando said...

Yeah, like Ronald Reagan...

September 20, 2011 at 8:54 p.m.
onetinsoldier said...

This is why He made the mistake of supporting science.

September 20, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.
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