Lt. Gov. Ramsey will not seek re-election to state Senate
Published 9:26 am Thursday, March 17, 2016
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, whose Tennessee Senate district includes a portion of Carter County, announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election to the Tennessee General Assembly.
Ramsey made his announcement to colleagues first during remarks from the Senate floor.
“I have always been known as a straight-shooter who gets right to the point. Today is no exception,” Ramsey said. “I stand before you today to announce that I will not be seeking another four-year term to the State Senate.”
Ramsey has served in the state legislature for nearly a quarter of a century — first serving for four years in the State House of Representatives and then serving the past 20 years in the State Senate.
“For the last 10 years, this body has granted me the privilege of serving as Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate. It has been a true honor to serve my state in this way,” Ramsey said. “I have said many times, I truly am ‘living the dream.’ I have never meant that phrase as much as I mean it right now. I am living the dream.”
Ramsey said he has always worked hard to keep his priorities in order, adding this includes his service to the state as a member of the legislature.
“My first priority has always been my faith. I have never taken my talents and opportunities for granted. I know that all I have God has given me. I have prayed to Him everyday for wisdom and guidance,” Ramsey said. “A close second has always been my family. Sindy is not only my wife but my best friend. She is truly the wind beneath my wings.”
“I have the three best daughters a father could ask for,” he added. “And now I have three wonderful sons-in-law.”
Ramsey said his third priority has been his own personal business as owner of Ron Ramsey & Associates Realtors and Auctioneers.
His fourth priority, he said, has been to the realm of state government and politics.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve here. We have accomplished great things together,” Ramsey said. “We have left Tennessee better than we found it.”
However, Ramsey said time seems to have flown by and he now finds himself wanting to focus more on other things.
“When I ran for office four years ago, I had a one-year old grandson. That grandson, Parker, will be starting kindergarten in August,” Ramsey said. “I now have four grandsons. My first granddaughter will be born today. As a matter of fact, I will be leaving immediately following session to celebrate the birth of little Sadie Rhea with my family.”
Ramsey said his decision to not seek re-election was a difficult one, and not one that was made in haste.
“After a lot of prayer and many sleepless nights, I have determined that I simply cannot commit to another four years in office,” Ramsey said. “I am ready to take priority number four off the table and commit a lot more time to priority number two, my growing family.”
“This has not been an easy decision,” he added. “I love the State Senate. I love being Lt. Governor. And I consider each and every one of you a true friend.”
Ramsey also expressed his thanks to the people of his district for allowing him to serve them and thanked his fellow senators for allowing him to serve as their leader for the last decade.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) described Ramsey’s imminent retirement as the end of an era in the Tennessee State Senate.
“There’s a saying on the farm: ‘Always look well to the other horse before you run in double harness,’” Norris said. “Ron Ramsey and I have been together as a team in Senate Leadership for a decade.”
“His retirement marks the end of a great era. Under his leadership, we not only gained the majority, but Tennessee has flourished in so many important ways,” Norris added. “He demonstrated that ‘it matters who governs.’ I’m glad for his friendship and everything he has done to make Tennessee a better place.”
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, M.D., also shared his thoughts on Ramsey’s decision.
“Ron Ramsey has spent the better part of his lifetime fighting for conservative principles and serving our great state, and Tennessee is lucky to have had his leadership,” Roe said. “There’s no doubt Ron was a trailblazer for the conservative movement in Tennessee, and we owe our strong Republican majority to his hard work and dedication.”
“While I’m sad to see him retire, I know he’ll enjoy spending more time with his family,” he added. “Ron Ramsey is a true statesman who I am lucky to call a friend, and I wish him all the best as he begins this new chapter in his life.”
When Ramsey was selected to be the Senate Speaker he became the first Republican appointed to that post in 140 years. He became the longest-serving Republican Senate Speaker in Tennessee History in 2009. He was elected to his fifth term as Speaker of the Senate in 2015.
Ramsey’s term of office will officially end on the second Tuesday in January 2017.