Staff and wire reports
Enid News and Eagle
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn says he plans to finish the current year in office and resign his seat nearly two years before his term is scheduled to end.
The 66-year-old Coburn released a statement late Thursday saying he would give up his seat at the end of the current session of Congress, scheduled to end in January 2015. His term was scheduled to end in 2016.
Coburn recently announced that he was diagnosed with cancer, but said the decision was not about his health.
“Serving as Oklahoma’s senator has been, and continues to be, one of the great privileges and blessings of my life,” Coburn said in his statement. “But, after much prayer and consideration, I have decided that I will leave my Senate seat at the end of this Congress.
“Carolyn and I have been touched by the encouragement we’ve received from people across the state regarding my latest battle against cancer. But this decision isn’t about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires. My commitment to the people of Oklahoma has always been that I would serve no more than two terms.”
Coburn was elected to the Senate in 2004. Before that, he served in the U.S. House, representing the 2nd Congressional District from 1995 to 2001. He retired from the House after pledging to serve no more than three terms.
Coburn graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1970 with a degree in accounting. He graduated from OU medical school in 1983. He practices in Muskogee, specializing in family medicine obstetrics and the treatment of allergies.