Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss announced on Friday he will not seek re-election to a third term. He informed his staff on Friday morning, and later released a statement.
Senator Chambliss faced challenges as he considered another term. He has come in for criticism from some in the GOP for his involvement in bipartisan talks on the budget deficit. Senator Chambliss and Senator Johnny Isakson voted on the recent deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, and Georgia members of the U.S. House voted against it.
Some of those congressmen are now likely to consider a senate bid. FOX 5 political analyst Matt Towery says the senator had been testing the political waters in recent months.
"My impression was he was never completely decided in terms of running in the first place. He has enjoyed the last two terms. Clearly he's had trouble with the Tea Party. He's had troubles with the more conservative elements of the Republican Party in Georgia and has been forced to take votes that have been viewed by those groups as being, perhaps, counter to what they wanted," said Towery.
In his announcement on Friday, Chambliss said his decision did not stem from the potential challengers that he faced but rather from frustration with Washington.
Governor Deal released a statement on Friday afternoon, calling Chambliss "a great Georgia leader and an American statesman; I will remember him as a friend."
The senator is from Moultrie, Georgia and first went to Congress in 1994. He then went to the Senate in 2002.