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GOP Sen. Richard Shelby announces he won’t seek re-election in 2022

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election in 2022, becoming the fourth GOP senator to announce plans to retire at the end of the current Congress.

“Today I announce that I will not seek a seventh term in the United State Senate in 2022,” said Shelby in a statement.

“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,” he added.

Shelby, 86, made clear that he plans to serve out the rest of his current term through 2022. He has served in Congress since 1979, first serving in the House for eight years and then in the Senate for more than three decades.

Until Democrats took control of the Senate recently, Shelby had been serving as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

Shelby’s seat is among 20 Senate seats currently held by Republicans that will be contested in the next midterm elections. There are also 14 Senate Democrats who will also be up for re-election.

This comes soon after Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., announced plans to step down in 2022 as well. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., had previously said that he won’t be seeking re-election either.

Shelby’s announcement also comes a day before the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is set to begin. Republicans have been under pressure to vote to convict Trump after the House impeached him last month for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol but most have signaled that they are unlikely to do so.

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