U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, a physician and opponent of the 2010 healthcare reform law, will leave the Senate at the end of this Congress, two years before his term expires.
The Oklahoma Republican—who specialized in family medicine, obstetrics and the treatment of allergies—has battled cancer, but said that is not the reason why he is leaving the Senate. He will turn 66 in March.
“This decision isn't about my health, my prognosis, or even my hopes and desires,” he said in a written statement. “My commitment to the people of Oklahoma has always been that I would serve no more than two terms.”
Coburn said in the statement that he sees public service as a “calling rather than a career.” That was the same approach he took when he served in the House of Representatives, where he vowed to serve no more than three terms. He represented Oklahoma's second congressional district between 1995 and 2001 and then re-entered Congress in 2005 after he was elected to the Senate in 2004.