NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander retired from public service on Sunday after the 117th Congress convened at 11 a.m.

Alexander served as senator for Tennessee for 18 years and previously served eight years as the state’s governor. He also was President of the University of Tennessee and served as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

The outgoing senator posted a farewell message on his social media account on Sunday morning.

“It’s been a real privilege to be the United States Senator from Tennessee,” Alexander said in the social media post with an accompanying video. “I’ve woken up thinking I might have a chance to do something good for our country, and I’ve gone to bed most nights thinking that I have. Thank you, Tennessee.”

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn praised Alexander prior to the new Congress convening.

“It’s not very often that we have the opportunity to pay tribute to someone as respected and accomplished as Lamar Alexander,” Blackburn said in the statement. “Over the course of his career, Senator Alexander touched the lives of millions of Tennesseans through his work with educators, business owners, health care workers, entertainers and innovators. It has been a pleasure serving alongside him in the United State Senate.”

Alexander, 80, did not seek re-election in 2020. Bill Hagerty won the general election to replace Alexander.


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