On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville spoke on the Senate floor saluting Sen. Richard Shelby, who is retiring at the end of this term after 44 years of congressional service – 36 of them in the U.S. Senate.
“To say Senator Shelby committed his career to the betterment of his state and nation would be a huge understatement,” Tuberville said. “His retirement is well earned, and his work should be celebrated.”
Tuberville entered the Senate after a long career coaching college football, including serving as the head football coach at the University of Mississippi, Auburn University, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati.
“It was quite the transition from college football to politics, but I jumped into the ring because I care deeply about the future of our nation — and I realized very quickly, so does Richard Shelby,” Tuberville said. “My transition to public office was supported by some great advisors who shared my belief in America. Chief among those allies is Senator Shelby…Congress is like a football team; it has a lot of great players in different positions. But to come together, form a game plan, and get some wins for our country, those players need good coaches. Senator Shelby has been one of the best.”
“Today, I want to honor the countless hours — countless hours — he has spent fighting for Alabama and the many achievements he has championed for the betterment of all Americans,” Tuberville continued. “Senator Shelby’s work has hit almost every corner of Alabama…His focus on national defense, manufacturing, infrastructure, and education will be the hallmarks of his legacy.”
“His support for America’s military and belief in the abilities of Alabamians cemented our state’s role as a leader in America’s national defense infrastructure,” Tuberville said. “Second, thanks to Senator Shelby’s commitment to bringing jobs and industry to Alabama, our state has also grown into one of the country’s leading manufacturing hubs…Third, that growth would not be possible without solid infrastructure, which Senator Shelby has helped build for decades… Fourth, all of this growth — in defense, manufacturing, infrastructure, and more — would mean nothing without the talented men and women who serve our military, lead our companies, and pioneer the new industries driving economic development. That talent and those are cultivated through education — and Senator Shelby believes in the value of a quality education.”
“As we bid farewell to Senator Shelby, I encourage all my colleagues to honor his legacy by following his example,” Tuberville concluded. “Put your family, your country, and your principles first — and the rest will fall into place. We all know public service is not just a burden of time and effort for the servant but also for their families. So, to Dr. [Annette] Shelby — thank you for your steadfast service to our state alongside your husband. And, to Senator Shelby — thank you for your mentorship over the past two years. I will use these lessons learned by serving you for the rest of my time in the Senate and beyond.”
Shelby represented Tuscaloosa in the Alabama State Senate from 1970 to 1978. He represented Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979 to 1987. He was elected to the United State Senate in 1986 and re-elected five times. Shelby is 87 years old. Shelby is the outgoing Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.