WASHINGTON – Sen. Bob Corker isn't yet saying if he will run for re-election next year, even after the first Democrat has jumped into the race.
In an interview on Monday, the Chattanooga Republican declined to say if he plans to run for a third term and, if so, when he expects to make a formal announcement.
“There will be a time and a place for that” discussion, he said.
Asked about speculation that he’s interested in running for governor — also on the 2018 ballot — the senator said, “I’ve been busy carrying out my activities here. I’ve been focused on that – I’m going to continue to be focused on that. As far as speculation about what I’m going to do or not do, I’d like to talk about that at the appropriate time.”
On Sunday, Democrat James Mackler, a Nashville attorney and Iraq War veteran, announced that he is entering the race for Corker’s seat.
Corker, Tennessee’s junior senator, was first elected in 2006. Six years later, he won a second term by defeating Democrat Mark Clayton, a political unknown who was disavowed by his own party because of his association with an anti-gay hate group and for an even record of voting in Democratic primaries.
Corker’s profile has risen considerably during his decade in office. He is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a high-profile position that puts him at the center of foreign policy discussions.
He was one of four finalists to become President Donald Trump’s secretary of state and reportedly was under consideration as Trump’s vice presidential running mate before taking himself out of the running.
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