WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Lamar Alexander is stepping down from the No. 3 GOP leadership post in the Senate in January.
The Tennessee Republican says he wants to focus more on helping the deeply divided Senate — where 60 votes out of 100 are needed to advance virtually any major legislation — become a more effective institution.
He told fellow Republicans in an email that stepping down from GOP leadership will free him to be a consensus-builder in the chamber.
Alexander, 71, was elected to a second term in 2008 and says he'll run for re-election in 2014.