Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander will not run again in 2020, he announced Monday, a decision that could create a scramble among Republicans looking to replace him.
NBC News's Jonathan Allen has more on Alexander's career, which included stints as governor, the secretary of education, and at the head of the Senate Health,Education,Labor and Pensions Committee.
The move means that the state is losing its two prominent Republican senators in a span of two years—Sen. Bob Corker is retiring at the end of the year, with GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn slated to replace him after her November victory.
Now, Volunteer State Republicans have to settle on a replacement for Alexander, who's held the seat since 2003. Some possibilities for the GOP include those who ran, or flirted with, bids for Corker's seat or for retiring Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's position.
Former Rep. Stephen Fincher briefly ran against Blackburn in this year's GOP primary and has $1.75 million left in a federal campaign account.
The Club for Growth PAC is calling on Congressman-elect Mark Green to run for the seat. Green, a Republican, briefly flirted with a Senate bid before running and winning the race to replace Blackburn.
Rep. Diane Black, who chose not to seek reelection to launch an unsuccessful bid for governor, could also look toward a return to Washington.
A current congressman like Rep. David Kustoff could be well-positioned to jump into the race.
And there will also likely be speculation about whether Haslam wants to run. He briefly flirted with a bid to replace Corker, as some within the party called for a more establishment pick.
It’s possible Democrats could mount a serious challenge too. But they may be dissuaded by Blackburn’s double-digit victory over former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen