Sen. Richard Shelby confirms he won’t seek re-election

Sen. Richard Shelby confirms he won’t seek re-election
Senator Shelby was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced Monday he won’t seek another term.

He released the following statement regarding the 2022 election:

“Today I announce that I will not seek a seventh term in the United State Senate in 2022. For everything, there is a season.

“I am grateful to the people of Alabama who have put their trust in me for more than forty years. I have been fortunate to serve in the U.S. Senate longer than any other Alabamian. During my time in the Senate, I have been given great opportunity, having chaired four committees: Appropriations, Rules, Banking, and Intelligence. In these positions of leadership, I have strived to influence legislation that will have a lasting impact – creating the conditions for growth and opportunity.

“Serving in the U.S. Senate has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I have done my best to address challenges and find ways to improve the day-to-day lives of all Americans. I have also focused on the economic challenges of Alabamians, increasing access to education and promoting facilities to improve the quality of schools. I have worked to enhance Alabama’s role in space exploration and the security of our nation. Further, I have supported the utilization of Alabama’s greatest resources, including its unparalleled river system and the Port of Mobile.

“My service in the U.S. Senate would not have been possible without those who have encouraged me over the years. I am particularly grateful for the support of my wife, Annette, and my entire family. Additionally, my staff, whose determination and loyalty have been unwavering, has been absolutely necessary in achieving my goals.

“Although I plan to retire, I am not leaving today. I have two good years remaining to continue my work in Washington. I have the vision and the energy to give it my all.

“Thank you again for the honor you have given me – the honor to serve the people of Alabama in Congress for the last 42 years. I look forward to what is to come for our great state and our great nation.”

Senator Shelby is currently the vice chairman and leading Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he recently served as chairman of the full committee and its subcommittee on defense. He formerly served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, of which he is the longest serving member in history. He remains a senior member on each of those committees. Additionally, he was previously the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator Shelby also serves on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Following four terms in the U.S. House representing Alabama’s 7th congressional district and eight years in the Alabama State Legislature, Senator Shelby was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986. During his time in Congress, he has focused on expanding economic opportunities throughout Alabama and the country, in addition to his top priority – the security of the nation. Senator Shelby has also worked to improve and advance education, medical research, space exploration, infrastructure, manufacturing, and agriculture. Importantly, he has worked to ensure that our nation’s warfighters are equipped with the tools they need to protect and defend the country. Additionally, he has been instrumental in deepening and widening the Port of Mobile, a project that he believes will have a monumental and long-term impact on Alabama’s economy. Further, Senator Shelby has worked tirelessly to confirm highly qualified, conservative judges to Alabama’s federal courts.

Senator Shelby has a strong record of standing for free-market principles and opposing bailouts and big government. He voted against the Chrysler bailout as a freshman in the House of Representatives, opposed the bailout for the financial industry in 2008, and has continuously fought on behalf of American taxpayers. In 2003 and 2005, Senator Shelby introduced legislation to reform the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He led the effort to tailor financial regulations following Dodd-Frank, and in 2015, Senator Shelby introduced a Dodd-Frank reform bill to roll back regulations on Main Street banks and businesses, which ultimately became the framework for a reform bill signed into law in 2018.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Senator Shelby is a fifth generation Alabamian and a graduate of the University of Alabama’s undergraduate and law programs. He began his career as a city prosecutor in Tuscaloosa and went on to serve as a U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama before working as a Special Assistant Attorney General.

Senator Shelby resides in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Annette – his bride of 60 years. They have two children, Richard and Claude, and two grandchildren.

Former U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions issued the following statement today regarding Senator Richard Shelby:

“The announcement by my friend and colleague, Richard Shelby, that he will not seek re-election is a significant moment in Alabama history. No one in the history of the Senate or Congress has delivered more financial benefits for Alabama than Senator Shelby. His work has been of monumental importance.

“The good news is that he will continue to serve and work for us for another two years as the top, Ranking Republican on the extremely important Appropriations Committee. There he is critically positioned to protect Alabama’s interests.

“I send my thanks for Richard’s friendship for me personally over the 20 years we served together in the Senate and afterwards. I cherish that partnership, which was productive in so many ways for Alabama and the nation.

“Mary and I send our best wishes to wonderful Annette and Richard and our sincere appreciation for their vital and continued service for the state we love.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt says Shelby’s decision is a huge loss to the state, adding that Shelby’s lasting legacy will be his ability to bring federal money and jobs to Alabama.

“There’s no reason why Alabama shouldn’t get its fair share and I will say Shelby has gone beyond the call of duty in making sure that has happened during his years in the senate,” Aderholt said.

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