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Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2014

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn announces his retirement

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said late Thursday that he will leave Congress at the end of this session, two years before his term expires.

Tom_Coburn_official_portrait_112th_CongressThe Oklahoma senator who is known for battling to cut the budget, has been battling cancer, but had always said he would limit his time in office.

His departure will set up a special election in the Republican-leaning state.

“This decision isn’t about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires,” Coburn, age 65, said in a statement. “My commitment to the people of Oklahoma has always been that I would serve no more than two terms.  Our founders saw public service and politics as a calling rather than a career.  That’s how I saw it.”

Coburn, a physician, first came to Congress as part of the Republican class elected to the House in 1994, but left office after promising to serve no more than three terms.

In 2004 he was elected to the Senate, where he was known for prying open the federal budget to find areas to cut. He earned the nickname “Dr. No” for his refusal to fund special programs.

Last fall, Coburn was diagnosed with a recurrence of prostate cancer. Decades earlier, he was diagnosed with melanoma.

During a brief conversation in the halls of Congress on Thursday before his announcement, Coburn expressed regret that the Senate was about to approve a $1-trillion spending bill to fund the government. He said too few of his Capitol Hill colleagues were willing to make the decisions needed to cut spending. His budget notes filled a binder as he headed to the Senate floor.

Under Oklahoma law, the special election will be held within 30 days of the vacancy.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. » Battling Cancer, Senate Conservative Stalwart to Step Down – Town Hall says:

    […] Sen. Coburn to step down two years before end of termModernHealthcare.comOklahoma Senator Tom Coburn announces his retirementThe Global DispatchFallin sets election to fill Coburn's Senate seatNewsOK.comWashington Post […]

  2. » Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn announces his retirement – The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn announces his retirementThe Global DispatchRepublican Sen. Tom Coburn said late Thursday that he will leave Congress at the end of this session, two years before his term expires. The Oklahoma senator who is known for battling to cut the budget, has been battling cancer, but had always said he …Reaction to Sen. Tom Coburn's decision to leave Congress earlyNewsOK.comTom Coburn announces plans to retireWashington Post (blog)Oklahoma will hold special election to fill Coburn's U.S. Senate seat after …kfor.comnews9.com KWTV -Shawnee News Star -Wall Street Journal (blog)all 293 news articles » […]

  3. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn announces his retirement – The Global Dispatch | says:

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  5. Oklahoma Sen. Coburn announces resignation, special election set – The City Wire - The Cream of Internet! - MyNetLike.com says:

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  6. GOP Sen. Coburn to step down two years before end of term – ModernHealthcare.com « Body build says:

    […] departure two years before his term expires will require a special election to fill his …Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn announces his retirementThe Global DispatchOklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn to retireCNNElection Date Set to Fill Coburn's […]

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