The Associated Press is reporting that Richard Shelby will not run for re-election for Alabama Senator. The 86 year old, who was originally a Democrat, has served in Washington for more than 40 years.
The senator in recent weeks told one close Alabama ally that he was not planning on running in 2022 for what would be his seventh term, according to the ally, who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person said some in the state were still trying to get Shelby to change his mind out of concern about losing clout and worries that the senator might be replaced by a fringe candidate who would not be as effective.
Normally Democrats would have no chance to win a Senate race in very conservative Alabama, but a possible civil war between establishment Republicans and those who go all in for Trump might create an interesting opportunity. Democrat Doug Jones won a special election for Senator in Alabama due to unusual circumstances in 2018. Jones lost his re-election bid in 2020 when Trump was on the ballot, something that won’t happen in 2022.
Other Republican Senators that have announced retirements in 2022 are: Rob Portman of Ohio, Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Burr of North Carolina.
But in interviews with CNN, several other GOP senators sidestepped questions about their political futures or made clear they were truly undecided about running again, including Sens. John Thune of South Dakota, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Thune, 60, said he would make his announcement “at some point in the future” while brushing aside questions about his thinking. Johnson, 65, said he didn’t think he had to decide “for a while.” Grassley, 87, said he would make his announcement in “several months.” Shelby, 86, said, “I’ll let you know.”