After a legislative career spanning six decades, state Sen. Douglas Henry will leave the state legislature for good next year.
Henry’s office confirmed that he will not seek reelection in 2014, as first reported by The Tennessean. An official statement from Henry is expected later today.
His Democratic colleagues in the Tennessee House of Representatives lauded his service in a statement Wednesday morning.
“Sen. Douglas Henry is the type of legislator we all aspire to be,” read a joint statement from the House Democratic Caucus. “Through numerous administrations and changes in leadership, Sen. Henry has remained a stalwart advocate for fiscal responsibility and Tennessee values. There is no greater champion for the State of Tennessee than Sen. Henry.”
After first being elected to the state House of Representatives in 1955, Henry has been a fixture in the Senate since 1971. He survived a 2010 primary challenge from Nashville attorney Jeff Yarbro by just 17 votes. Since then, redistricting has reshaped District 21, but it remains a Democratic stronghold.
Henry’s exit immediately led to buzz in Nashville’s political circles about the race to succeed him.
Yarbro is expected to make another run at the seat, and Metro Councilman Jason Holleman is widely assumed to have an interest as well. Neither immediately responded to calls from The City Paper requesting comment.