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VOL. 41 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 22, 2017

Corker mum on future plans, but doesn't rule out gov's race

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Sen. Bob Corker gave few hints Wednesday on his political future after he leaves the U.S. Senate, but he appeared to leave the door slightly ajar on a potential run for Tennessee governor next year.

Corker told reporters at the U.S. Capitol that he plans to "serve in some capacity," but that he's not actively pursuing any other office at the moment.

"If there's an opportunity for me to make a difference in some other way, I'm sure that I would look at it," he said. "Right now, again, I have absolutely nothing."

There is already a field of five major Republican candidates looking to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam, who in turn is being urged to run for Corker's seat next year.

"If that were something that I was going to attempt to pursue, it would have been good to think about that a year ago," Corker said. "There's been a lot of people who've been working hard."

"But over the course of the next 15 months, who knows what might happen?" he said.

The filing deadline for governor's race is April.

Corker said he's not retiring out of frustration over the glacial pace major legislation moves on Capitol Hill. But he acknowledged that burnout may have played a role in his decision to return home to Tennessee after more than a decade in Congress.

"I'm frustrated we're not getting more done, but that has nothing to do with me leaving," said Corker, who is the chairman of the influential Foreign Relations Committee. "I'm in a position where I can pick up the phone and make a phone call and make a difference."

Corker reiterated what he said in his retirement announcement: That's he leaving because he's a "citizen legislator" who pledged before his 2006 election not to serve more than two terms in the Senate.

Corker, who has traveled to dozens of countries since his election, said he wakes up every day feeling privileged to come to work.

"Am I burned out on hearings, hearings, hearings? A little bit. Yeah, I'm more of a doer," he said. "I'll be honest. I hit the wall a little bit."

___

Associated Press writer Richard Lardner contributed to this report from Washington.

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