Bill Haslam announces he will not be running for Senate in 2020


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has said he will not be running for a seat in the United States Senate in 2020.

Haslam said in an op-ed piece for the USA Today Network he considered the position since January, but he will not be running despite his love for public service.

Haslam called his choice to not run “the hardest vocational decision of my life.”

Haslam said that he appreciates all the encouragement to seek the position, but it is not his calling for his next period of life.

Senator Lamar Alexander said in a press release that he understands Haslam’s decision.

“Bill Haslam would be a terrific United States senator, but he has served Tennessee well and unselfishly for 15 years as governor and as mayor of Knoxville, and I can completely understand his desire to take a different direction with his life,” Alexander said.

Haslam released a statement to his former advisers, which reads:

To my Fellow Tennesseans,

For the last several years, I have had the honor of serving as Mayor of Knoxville and Governor of this great state. I truly believe that, at its best, public service is a high privilege and calling. I know that the opportunity to serve in these roles has changed me forever. I have a much greater appreciation for the impact that effective government can have on citizens of all backgrounds, beliefs, and life circumstances. Public service is so much more than the political disagreements that too often define our current environment.I have seen firsthand the impact that committed men and women in public roles can have on their city, state, and country.
Since leaving office in January, I have wrestled with the possibility of running for the United States Senate. I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me and helped me think and pray about this decision. I also apologize to all those who think it has taken me an exceedingly long time to make up my mind! The truth is, this has been the hardest vocational decision of my life. As I said before, I think public service is one of the highest callings that anyone can have on their life. And, there is no question that this is an important time in our nation’s history. It does matter who we elect to such critical positions. Serving in a Senate seat once held by two of my political mentors, Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander, would be an additional honor.
While I think serving in the United States Senate would be a great privilege and responsibility, I have come to the conclusion that it is not my calling for the next period of my life. This is a difficult decision because I have loved my time in public service and I believe so deeply in the importance of our political process. I remain grateful for everyone who has allowed me to serve as a mayor and a governor and I look forward to serving our state and country in other ways.
Six months ago, Crissy and I moved out of the Tennessee Governor‘s Residence . We did that with grateful hearts for the time that Tennesseans allowed us to be in our roles as Governor and First Lady. We also did it with confidence in Governor Lee and his ability and commitment to move the state forward. And, we left with appreciation for the many men and women that we had a chance to work with for Tennessee. Six months later, those feelings of gratitude, confidence in the future, and appreciation for selfless servants have only increased. Thank you again for the many kindnesses you have shown us.
Gratefully, Bill Haslam

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Haslam also commended Governor Bill Lee, expressing confidence in his ability as governor.

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