Mass GOP exodus: Alabama US senator becomes fourth to announce retirement
Richard Shelby (Screen Grab)

The mass exodus of Republicans from the U.S. Senate continues, with Richard Shelby of Alabama announcing Monday his retirement at the end of his term, the fourth in the GOP caucus to do so so far.

“Today I announce that I will not seek a seventh term in the United States Senate in 2022. For everything, there is a season," Shelby said in a statement, as The Washington Post reports. “I am grateful to the people of Alabama who have put their trust in me for more than forty years. I have been fortunate to serve in the U.S. Senate longer than any other Alabamian."

Republican Senator Shelby, now a hard-core conservative, was first Democratic Congressman Shelby in 1978. In 1986 he ran for and won a seat in the Senate, and in 1994 became a Republican.

Shelby has a virulently anti-LGBTQ record. He voted for a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage and for the unconstitutional federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) He also voted against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes and no on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.

Most recently, Shelby voted against Pete Buttigieg's confirmation as Transportation Secretary.