Influential GOP Sen. Tom Coburn is calling it quits

After nearly 10 years in the U.S. Senate, the Oklahoman has decided to end his career as a politician

Published January 17, 2014 3:25PM (EST)

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, one of President Barack Obama's closest GOP allies during his days in the Senate, announced on Thursday that he would be leaving the political scene after the end of the current congressional session.

Although Coburn recently revealed that his prostate cancer had returned, the 65-year-old said that his decision to retire was not related to struggles with his health.

"[My wife] and I have been touched by the encouragement we've received from people across the state regarding my latest battle against cancer," Coburn said. "But this decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires."

"As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere," he continued. "In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year strong."

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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