Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi announced on Saturday that he is not running for re-election and will retire at the end of his current term in office.
Enzi is the senior senator from Wyoming and currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. He has served as a senator for 22 years after first winning election to the Senate in 1996.
The Republican senator would have been up for re-election in 2020.
Enzi made the announcement at a press conference in Gillette, Wyoming.
“I have much to get done in the next year and a half,” he said, according to text of his announcement speech. “I want to be able to focus on budget reform to get control of our national debt; Several small business initiatives; Protecting and diversifying Wyoming’s Jobs. I don’t want to be burdened with the distractions of a campaign. After this term I will find other ways to serve.”
“I’m sorry to hear that Senator Mike Enzi will embark on a well-earned retirement from the Senate at the end of next year. His departure will be our loss,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement. “I’m glad we’ll still have Mike’s leadership and expertise on fiscal policy, the federal budget, and many other subjects to draw on for the next year and a half.”
Fellow Wyoming Republicans praised the senator in statements on Saturday, reflecting on Enzi’s career in Congress.
“Mike Enzi’s character, courage and credibility have made him a respected moral leader in the U.S. Senate. In four terms in the Senate he has never wavered in his commitment to God, family or Wyoming,” Republican Sen. John Barrasso said in a statement reacting to the news.
“The Senate and Wyoming will miss the valued leadership of the trusted trail boss of our congressional delegation,” Barrasso added.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said in a statement, “Mike Enzi has devoted himself to serving our state and the country,” adding, “During his 20 years in Washington, he brought our state’s values to the nation’s capital, fighting for a smaller, less obstructive, and more efficient federal government that would allow people to grow and thrive.”
Enzi praised both lawmakers in his own speech, saying, “I’m leaving the Senate and House in good hands since John and Liz are in leadership. I can see a future when Representative Cheney will be the Speaker of the House and Senator Barrasso will be the Senate Majority Leader.”
CNN’s Tammy Kupperman contributed to this report.