A Tennessean's Response to Senator Bob Corker's Decision not to Run Again

A Tennessean's Response to Senator Bob Corker's Decision not to Run Again

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Photo from Senator Corker’s Facebook Page

Back in January of 2016, I attended the Christian Passion Conference in Atlanta hosted by Dr. Louie Giglio. On day two of this conference, they passed out red sharpies and told us to each draw a red X on our hand in order to support the EndItMovement to fight human trafficking. Of course, we all did this and we tried to show our Xs to create awareness. The next day when we started the conference, Louie Giglio called unto the stage “a very special guest.” Walking up the steps was Tennessee Senator Bob Corker holding up his fist and showing us his red X. Corker took the microphone and told us about how he was bringing the fight to end human trafficking to the Senate, and he has done so with his powerful positions in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

This past week, Tennessee Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018. As a Tennessean, I was astonished. Corker has done an awesome job serving the Volunteer state. He is one of the most popular elected officials our state has seen in a long time, and re-election would have been fairly easy for him. Furthermore, he was holding a very powerful seat in the Senate. As I did a little bit more research however, I became less shocked about Corker’s decision, because in 2006, he told us that he “can’t imagine serving more than two terms.” Instead of continuing to rise up the ranks, he did the honorable thing and kept his word by deciding to step down. An act like that takes a lot of courage, and it shows a lot of character.

The 2018 elections will be the first set of midterms that I’ll be able to vote in. I was so excited to be able to help re-elect Senator Corker, and I will no longer be able to do that. This being said, I want to personally thank Senator Corker for everything he has done and accomplished. As a businessman, Corker built up a construction company and helped redevelop properties across Chattanooga. Afterward, he ran for mayor of Chattanooga and won a 12-man race for Mayor with 53.8% of the vote. As mayor, he helped revitalize the city’s downtown area and was also key in bringing Volkswagen USA to Chattanooga. Today, Volkswagen employs thousands of Chattanoogans and is continuing to grow. Corker opted against running for reelection in 2005 and instead decided to run for Bill Frist’s Senate seat in 2006. Corker won with 51% of the vote during the same year that Democrat Phil Bredesen won every county in TN in his re-election bid for governor. The Senator survived a Democratic wave in 2006 to win his first term against popular Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. from Memphis. As a Senator, Corker has been a constant fighter for deficit reduction and a balanced budget. He is one of the few who consistently votes against raising the debt ceiling. In addition to this, Corker has never wavered in standing up for our Second Amendment rights; he has earned a 100% score from the National Right to Life; he has been a constant advocate for veterans; and as mentioned above, he has brought the fight to end human trafficking all the way to Washington.

Since becoming a Senator, Corker has never stopped fighting for Tennessee and for America. Millennials should look up to and strive to follow the footsteps of Bob Corker, whether they intend to be in politics or not. If you have no plans to go into politics, you can still see the value of hard work and perseverance when we look at how Corker built up his construction company and helped rebuild Chattanooga. If you are planning to go into politics, you can look at how Corker used conservative principles to bring positive change to his city, to his state, and to the entire country. Corker is an inspiration to me because I want to be a businessman who invests in real estate and also goes into politics. I hope that when I am 65 years old I can look at my life and say that I served my country and my community the way that Bob Corker did. We should all be thanking Bob Corker for his service to the country, especially Tennesseans.

You can follow Alexander on Twitter: @RevIoannidis

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