Senator Mae Beavers resigned, prompting Governor Bill Haslam to call a special election for the vacant seat.
She announced her intention to resign at Mount Juliet City Hall and to focus all of her time on the governor's election, which is set for 2018.
The 69-year-old has been in the Senate since 2002 and she is among the most experienced in the Senate, serving four terms in the House of Representatives prior.
“My travels across the state to campaign for governor should not deprive the taxpayers of the 17th Senatorial District of the devoted and consistent conservative representation they have come to expect,” Beavers said.
So far, Beavers is having problems with fundraising for her campaign as compared to her opponents, having raised just $36,000 in the first month of her campaign. Meanwhile Williamson County businessman Bill Lee raised $1.4 Million while her main Democratic challenger, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, gained $1.2 Million.
“It has become increasingly clear that conservatives in Tennessee are looking for bold leadership that will not shrink from standing up and speaking up on the key issues facing our state,” Beavers said in a statement in May.
She has been a staunch conservative her entire career, especially on social issues, where she cites her track record in the Senate having recently introduced a bill for defining bathrooms for transgender people.
"As governor, I will make sure that Tennessee focuses on protecting children before they are born and then providing them a safe and secure environment to grow up in after they are born," she said. "That safety and security extends to making sure that men don't go into the bathrooms and locker rooms of little girls,” she said.
She also says that if elected she will make it one of her priorities to repeal Governor Haslam’s proposed gas tax.