Senator Lamar Alexander on not seeking 2020 re-election: 'It's time'

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has shephered one of three appropriations bills, including much funding for the 3rd Congressional District, through the Senate.

NASHVILLE - He's at the height of his power in Washington and been praised by President Donald Trump, but three-term Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says "it's time" for him to leave office in two years.

The 78-year-old former two-term governor, U.S. Education secretary and one-time University of Tennessee president shook up the state's political universe Monday, announcing he won't seek re-election to the Senate seat he's held since 2003.

That's opened the floodgates of ambition here with term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who leaves office in January, among those now weighing a 2020 race. It's also given Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Republican U.S.