UPDATE: Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke tells Channel 3 he is considering a run for U.S. Senate after Bob Corker announced on Tuesday that he will not seek a third term.

Mayor Berke's office released the following statement regarding the open Senate seat:

"I've been hearing from Tennesseans who want to see progress instead of stalemate, unity rather than division, and a leader with a proven record of accomplishment," Berke said. "In the coming weeks, I'll be talking with my family and people around the state to determine how I can best serve our community."

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

PREVIOUS STORY: (AP) - Few people in Tennessee thought Bob Corker wouldn't run for a third term next year.

That's in part because he was sitting on the largest sum of campaign money among Republicans facing re-election to the Senate next year. His surprise announcement Tuesday that he will retire from Congress set off a frenzy of speculation about who will try to succeed him.

Attention quickly turned to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, a close family friend of Corker's. Haslam can't run for governor again next year because of term limits.

Haslam's spokeswoman praised Corker's service, but didn't respond to questions about Haslam's future plans. Tom Ingram, a campaign strategist for both Corker and Haslam, said he expects the governor to give a Senate bid some serious consideration.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.