Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) announced Friday he will not seek re-election to a third term next year.
“After much contemplation and reflection, I have decided not to run for re-election to the Senate in 2014,” Chambliss said in a statement on his Facebook page. “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.”
First elected to the House in 1994 and then to the Senate in 2002, Chambliss angered Tea Party conservatives for taking part in the failed bipartisan Senate “Gang of Six” that tried to tackle the budget and for his recent vote to avert the “fiscal cliff.”
Chambliss rejected the notion that facing a potential primary challenge had been a factor in his decision, saying he was confident he would have been able to pull off a win if he ran again. Republican House members Paul Broun and Tom Price were both considering challenging Chambliss, as was former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, according to the Washington Post.
“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,” Chambliss said.
He added, “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.”
This post has been updated.