NASHVILLE - State Sen. Lowe Finney, D-Jackson, announced today he won't seek reelection to a third term in 2014, giving Republicans an opening.
The 37-year-old is chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, the No. 2 ranking Democrat, and Republicans have long speculated Finney would not seek reelection and instead explore a Jackson mayoral race.
Democrats currently hold only seven seats in the 33-member Senate. Republicans were planning to come hard after Finney in his West Tennessee district.
Republicans also intend to target Sen. Charlotte Burks, D-Monterey, if she chooses to run again.
Finney notified supporters in an email today, saying, "I have had no higher honor than representing West Tennessee families in the state legislature."
He said he was "proud to have worked to improve health care for senior citizens, cut the sales tax on food and provide great opportunities for young students and veterans to attend college."
Finney was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and won re-election in 2010.