A political analyst says voters in Tennessee are poised to send a conservative to the U.S. Senate after Sen. Bob Corker is stepping down.
Corker, now serving his second term, announced in a statement that he will not seek re-election in 2018.
Corker has been criticized for supporting the Obama administration's Iran deal and, more recently, created a stir this summer when he said President Donald Trump lacked the competence to succeed as president. That remark came after Trump's remarks after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.
In a story about Corker's announcement, The Tennessean newspaper reports Corker has "agonized" over seeking another term over the possibility he could be challenged from the "right flank" of the GOP.
"When you look at Bob Corker's record," says Chambers, "I think he may be the last person to call into question President Trump's ability to lead."
Corker's announcement comes at the same time that "establishment" Republicans witnessed Sen. Luther Strange lose Tuesday to Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court justice.
Corker's departure could give conservatives an opportunity to move the Senate farther to the right, says Chambers, who compares the current conservative push to a grassfire that's growing into a forest fire.
"There is this anti-establishment political class mindset," he observes, "and so I would not be shocked to see a very conservative [candidate] entering into that race."
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, among others, has been named as a possible contender for the Senate seat.
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