Resignation from the United States Senate

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A member of the United States Senate can resign by writing a letter of resignation to the governor of the state that the senator represents. [1] Under Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States, and under the Seventeenth Amendment, in case of a vacancy in the Senate resulting from resignation, the executive authority of the state (today known in every state as the governor) can fill the vacancy by appointment unless the state legislature has provided for some other means of filling the vacancy, such as a special election. Whenever a senator needs to be appointed or elected, the Secretary of the Senate mails one of three forms to the state's governor to inform them of the proper wording to certify the appointment of a new Senator. [2]

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The first resignation from the Senate was that of William Paterson of New Jersey on November 13, 1790, who resigned in order to accept the office of Governor of New Jersey.[ citation needed ] His resignation was only the third time a person ceased to hold a seat in the Senate, which had first convened during the preceding year, 1789. The earlier ones resulted from the death of Senator William Grayson of Virginia, and the expiration of the term of the temporary senator John Walker of Virginia, who was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to hold that office until a successor could be elected in November.[ citation needed ]

Before 1796, eight senators resigned. Nine senators resigned during that year—a record-high number that stands to this day.[ citation needed ] Most resignations have been motivated either by declining health or a decision to accept another office.[ citation needed ] Sixteen persons have resigned from the Senate twice and two have resigned three times.[ citation needed ]

1789 to 1799

NameStateDate of resignationNotes
William Paterson New Jersey November 13, 1790Resigned to become Governor of New Jersey
Samuel Johnson Connecticut March 3, 1791
Richard Lee Virginia October 8, 1792
Charles Carroll Maryland November 30, 1792
George Read Delaware September 18, 1793
James Monroe VirginiaMarch 27, 1794
John Taylor of Caroline VirginiaMay 11, 1794
James Jackson Georgia November 16, 1795
Oliver Ellsworth ConnecticutMarch 8, 1796
Rufus King New YorkMay 23, 1796
Caleb Strong MassachusettsJune 1, 1796
George Cabot MassachusettsJune 9, 1796
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. ConnecticutJune 10, 1796
Moses Robinson VermontOctober 15, 1796
Richard Potts MarylandOctober 24, 1796
Pierce Butler South CarolinaOctober 25, 1796
Frederick Frelinghuysen New JerseyNovember 12, 1796
William Cocke TennesseeSeptember 26, 1797
William Bradford Rhode IslandOctober ??, 1797
Isaac Tichenor VermontOctober 17, 1797Resigned to become Governor of Vermont [3]
John Henry MarylandDecember 10, 1797
Philip Schuyler New YorkJanuary 3, 1798
John Vining DelawareJanuary 19, 1798
Andrew Jackson TennesseeApril 1, 1798
John Sloss Hobart New YorkApril 16, 1798
John Hunter South CarolinaNovember 26, 1798
John Rutherfurd New JerseyDecember 5, 1798
Joseph Anderson TennesseeMarch 3, 1799

1800 to 1849

NameStateDate of resignationNotes
Samuel Dexter MassachusettsMay 30, 1800Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of War [4]
John Laurance New YorkAugust 1, 1800
Benjamin Goodhue MassachusettsNovember 8, 1800
James Lloyd MarylandDecember 1, 1800
James Schureman New JerseyFebruary 16, 1801
Henry Latimer DelawareFebruary 28, 1801
Ray Greene Rhode IslandMarch 5, 1801
Charles Pinckney South CarolinaJune 6, 1801
Samuel Livermore New HampshireJune 12, 1801
Elijah Paine VermontSeptember 1, 1801
John Armstrong, Jr. New YorkFebruary 5, 1802
James Sheafe New HampshireJune 14, 1802
Dwight Foster MassachusettsMarch 2, 1803
DeWitt Clinton New YorkNovember 4, 1803
Theodorus Bailey New YorkJanuary 16, 1804
John Armstrong, Jr. New YorkFebruary 23, 1804
Abraham B. Venable VirginiaJune 7, 1804
John Armstrong, Jr. New YorkJune 30, 1804
William H. Wells DelawareNovember 6, 1804
William Giles VirginiaDecember 3, 1804
Andrew Moore VirginiaDecember 3, 1804Resigned his Class 2 senatorship when elected to fill a vacant Class 1 senatorship
John Breckinridge KentuckyAugust 7, 1805
Robert Wright MarylandNovember 12, 1806
John Adair KentuckyNovember 18, 1806
David Stone North CarolinaFebruary 17, 1807
James Fenner Rhode IslandSeptember ??, 1807
Israel Smith VermontOctober 1, 1807
John Smith OhioApril 25, 1808Resigned after being indicted but not expelled in a 19–10 vote [5]
John Quincy Adams MassachusettsJune 8, 1808
Samuel Maclay PennsylvaniaJanuary 4, 1809
Aaron Kitchell New JerseyMarch 3, 1809
Daniel Smith TennesseeMarch 31, 1809
John Milledge GeorgiaNovember 14, 1809
Buckner Thruston KentuckyDecember 18, 1809
Nahum Parker New HampshireJune 1, 1810
James Hillhouse ConnecticutJune 10, 1810
Return Meigs, Jr. OhioDecember 8, 1810
Thomas Sumter South CarolinaDecember 16, 1810
Jenkin Whiteside TennesseeOctober 8, 1811
Christopher Champlin Rhode IslandOctober 12, 1811
Jean Noel Destréhan LouisianaOctober 1, 1812
James Bayard DelawareMarch 3, 1813
Dudley Chase VermontMarch 3, 1813
William Crawford GeorgiaMarch 23, 1813
James Lloyd MassachusettsMay 1, 1813
Chauncey Goodrich ConnecticutMay 13, 1813
George W. Campbell TennesseeFebruary 11, 1814
Michael Leib PennsylvaniaFebruary 14, 1814
George Bibb KentuckyAugust 23, 1814
Thomas Worthington OhioDecember 1, 1814
Jesse Bledsoe KentuckyDecember 24, 1814
David Stone North CarolinaDecember 24, 1814
William Giles VirginiaMarch 3, 1815
Francis Locke Jr. North CarolinaDecember 5, 1815
William T. Barry KentuckyMay 1, 1816
Christopher Gore MassachusettsMay 30, 1816
John Taylor South CarolinaNovember ??, 1816
Wyatt Bibb GeorgiaNovember 9, 1816
James Turner North CarolinaNovember 21, 1816
Goodloe Harper MarylandDecember 6, 1816
Jeremiah Mason New HampshireJune 16, 1817
James Fisk VermontJanuary 8, 1818
George W. Campbell TennesseeApril 20, 1818
Eli Ashmun MassachusettsMay 10, 1818
George Troup GeorgiaSeptember 23, 1818
John Forsyth GeorgiaFebruary 17, 1819
John J. Crittenden KentuckyMarch 3, 1819
John Wayles Eppes VirginiaDecember 4, 1819
Prentiss Mellen MassachusettsMay 15, 1820
Walter Leake MississippiMay 15, 1820
William Logan KentuckyMay 28, 1820
James Wilson New JerseyJanuary 8, 1821
Freeman Walker GeorgiaAugust 6, 1821
Harrison Gray Otis MassachusettsMay 30, 1822
John Williams Walker AlabamaDecember 12, 1822
James Pleasants VirginiaDecember 15, 1822
Caesar Augustus Rodney DelawareJanuary 29, 1823
Samuel Southard New JerseyMarch 3, 1823
James Brown LouisianaDecember 10, 1823
Ninian Edwards IllinoisMarch 3, 1824
Henry Johnson LouisianaMay 27, 1824
James Barbour VirginiaMarch 7, 1825
David Holmes MississippiSeptember 25, 1825
Andrew Jackson TennesseeOctober 14, 1825
James DeWolfRhode IslandOctober 31, 1825
Edward LloydMarylandJanuary 14, 1826
James LloydMassachusettsMay 23, 1826
Henry HarrisonOhioMay 20, 1828
Albion ParrisMaineAugust 26, 1828
Thomas Cobb GeorgiaNovember 7, 1828
Nathaniel MaconNorth CarolinaDecember 14, 1828
Ephraim Bateman New JerseyJanuary 12, 1829
Mahlon Dickerson New JerseyJanuary 30, 1829
John Berrien GeorgiaMarch 9, 1829
John BranchNorth CarolinaMarch 9, 1829
John EatonTennesseeMarch 9, 1829
Louis McLaneDelawareApril 16, 1829
Edward LivingstonLouisianaMay 24, 1831
Issac BarnardPennsylvaniaDecember 6, 1831
Powhatan EllisMississippiJuly 16, 1832
Littleton TazewellVirginiaJuly 16, 1832
Robert HayneSouth CarolinaDecember 13, 1832
William MarcyNew YorkJanuary 1, 1833
George Troup GeorgiaNovember 8, 1833
William RivesVirginiaFebruary 22, 1834
John Forsyth GeorgiaJune 27, 1834
Ezekiel ChambersMarylandDecember 20, 1834
Peleg SpragueMaineJanuary 1, 1835
Charles GayarréLouisianaJanuary ??, 1836
John TylerVirginiaFebruary 29, 1836
Ether ShepleyMaineMarch 3, 1836
Willie MangumNorth CarolinaMarch 19, 1836
Isaac HillNew HampshireMay 30, 1836
Arnold NaudainDelawareJune 16, 1836
Benjamin LeighVirginiaJuly 4, 1836
John ClaytonDelawareDecember 29, 1836
Alexander PorterLouisianaJanuary 5, 1837
Richard ParkerVirginiaMarch 13, 1837
John McKinleyAlabamaApril 22, 1837
Pendleton King GeorgiaNovember 1, 1837
John BlackMississippiJanuary 22, 1838
Felix Grundy TennesseeJuly 4, 1838
James F. Trotter MississippiJuly 10, 1838
Ephraim Foster TennesseeMarch 3, 1839
Richard Bayard DelawareSeptember 19, 1839
Lawson WhiteTennesseeJanuary 13, 1840
Robert Strange North CarolinaNovember 16, 1840
Bedford BrownNorth CarolinaNovember 16, 1840
John DavisMassachusettsJanuary 5, 1841
Daniel Webster MassachusettsFebruary 22, 1841Resigned to become United States Secretary of State [6]
Comer ClayAlabamaNovember 15, 1841
Franklin PierceNew HampshireFebruary 28, 1842
Alexander MoutonLouisianaMarch 1, 1842
Henry Clay KentuckyMarch 31, 1842
Samuel PrentissVermontApril 11, 1842
Samuel Southard New JerseyJune 26, 1842
Reuel WilliamsMaineFebruary 15, 1843
John Calhoun South CarolinaMarch 3, 1843
William SpragueRhode IslandJanuary 17, 1844
William KingAlabamaApril 15, 1844
Nathaniel TallmadgeNew YorkJune 17, 1844
Silas Wright, Jr.New YorkNovember 26, 1844
John Berrien GeorgiaMarch 1, 1845
Elliot HugerSouth CarolinaMarch 3, 1845
Levi WoodburyNew HampshireSeptember 20, 1845
William Haywood, Jr.North CarolinaJuly 25, 1846
Walter Colquitt GeorgiaFebruary 4, 1848
Ambrose SevierArkansasMarch 15, 1848
Lewis CassMichiganMay 29, 1848
John CrittendenKentuckyJune 12, 1848
Arthur BagbyAlabamaJune 16, 1848
John ClaytonDelawareFebruary 2, 1849
Reverdy JohnsonMarylandMarch 7, 1849

1850 to 1899

NameStatePartyDate of resignationNotes
Daniel Webster MassachusettsWhigJuly 22, 1850Resigned again to again take office as United States Secretary of State [7]
Jefferson Davis MississippiDemocraticSeptember 23, 1851Resigned to run for Governor of Mississippi
Robert Rhett South CarolinaDemocraticMay 7, 1852
John Berrien GeorgiaWhigMay 28, 1852
William R. King AlabamaDemocraticDecember 20, 1852Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Robert Stockton New JerseyDemocraticJanuary 10, 1853Resigned to serve as president of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company
Solon Borland ArkansasDemocraticApril 11, 1853Resigned on being appointed as United States Minister to Nicaragua
Pierre Soulé LouisianaDemocraticApril 11, 1853Resigned on being appointed as United States Minister to Spain
Edward Everett MassachusettsWhigJune 1, 1854Resigned due to ill health
Augustus C. Dodge IowaDemocraticFebruary 22, 1855Resigned on being appointed as United States Minister to Spain
Hannibal Hamlin MaineRepublicanJanuary 7, 1857Resigned to take office as Governor of Maine
Asa Biggs North CarolinaDemocraticMay 5, 1858Resigned to take office as a judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Carolina
Thomas Lanier Clingman North CarolinaDemocraticMay 7, 1858
Hannibal Hamlin MaineRepublicanJanuary 17, 1861Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Jefferson Davis MississippiDemocraticJanuary 21, 1861Resigned because State seceded from the Union. Subsequently elected Major General of the Mississippi Militia and President of the Confederate States of America.
John Slidell LouisianaDemocraticFebruary 4, 1861Resigned because State seceded from the Union.
Thomas Bragg North CarolinaDemocraticMarch 6, 1861Resigned because State seceded from the Union.
Salmon P. Chase OhioRepublicanMarch 6, 1861Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury
Andrew Johnson TennesseeDemocraticMarch 4, 1862Resigned to take office as Military Governor of Tennessee
James F. Simmons Rhode IslandRepublicanAugust 15, 1862Resigned after a case for expulsion for corruption was declined [8]
Waitman T. Willey VirginiaUnionistMarch 3, 1863Resigned to become Senator of newly created West Virginia.
James A. Bayard, Jr. DelawareDemocraticJanuary 29, 1864Resigned in protest of new Senate Loyalty Oath [9]
William P. Fessenden MaineRepublicanJuly 1, 1864Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury
James Harlan IowaRepublicanMay 15, 1865Resigned to take office as the United States Secretary of the Interior
Daniel Clark New HampshireRepublicanJuly 27, 1866Resigned to take office as a judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire
James Gurthrie KentuckyDemocraticFebruary 7, 1868Resigned due to ill health [10]
Reverdy Johnson MarylandDemocraticJuly 10, 1868
James W. Grimes IowaRepublicanDecember 6, 1869Resigned due to ill health [11]
Charles D. Drake MissouriRepublicanDecember 19, 1870Resigned to take office as Chief Justice of the United States Court of Claims
William Pitt Kellogg LouisianaRepublicanNovember 1, 1872Resigned to take office as Governor of Louisiana
Henry Wilson MassachusettsRepublicanMarch 3, 1873Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Alexander Caldwell KansasRepublicanMarch 24, 1873Resigned before a vote could be taken on his expulsion for corruption [12]
Eugene Casserly CaliforniaDemocraticNovember 29, 1873
Adelbert Ames MississippiRepublicanJanuary 4, 1874Resigned to take office as Governor of Mississippi
Lot M. Morrill MaineRepublicanJuly 7, 1876Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury
John Sherman OhioRepublicanMarch 8, 1877Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury [4]
Isaac P. Christiancy MichiganRepublicanFebruary 10, 1879Resigned due to ill health [13]
John Brown Gordon GeorgiaDemocraticMay 26, 1880
James G. Blaine MaineRepublicanMarch 5, 1881Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State
Samuel J. Kirkwood IowaRepublicanMarch 7, 1881Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Interior
William Windom MinnesotaRepublicanMarch 7, 1881Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury
Roscoe Conkling New YorkRepublicanMay 16, 1881Resigned in protest of the appointment of a New York City customs collector by President James A. Garfield [14]
Thomas Platt New YorkRepublicanMay 16, 1881Resigned in support of fellow Senator Conkling's protest [14]
Henry M. Teller ColoradoRepublicanApril 17, 1882Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Interior
Augustus Hill Garland ArkansasDemocraticMarch 6, 1885Resigned to take office as United States Attorney General
Thomas F. Bayard DelawareDemocraticMarch 6, 1885Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State
Howell Edmunds Jackson TennesseeDemocraticApril 14, 1886Resigned to take office as a judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Sixth Circuit
Jonathan Chace Rhode IslandRepublicanApril 9, 1889
John Henninger Reagan Texas DemocraticJune 10, 1891Resigned to take office as the chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas [15]
John Carlisle KentuckyDemocraticFebruary 4, 1893Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury
Edward Douglass White LouisianaDemocraticMarch 12, 1894Resigned to take office as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
John Sherman OhioRepublicanMarch 4, 1897Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State

1900 to 1949

NameStatePartyDate of resignationNotes
William A. Clark Montana Democratic May 15, 1900Resigned before a Senate vote on declaring his election void due to bribery [16]
Charles W. Fairbanks Indiana Republican March 3, 1905Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Joseph Burton Kansas Republican June 4, 1906Resigned following corruption charges ( Burton v. United States ) [17]
John Coit Spooner Wisconsin Republican April 30, 1907
Philander C. Knox Pennsylvania Republican March 4, 1909Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State
Fountain L. Thompson North Dakota Democratic January 31, 1910
Joseph M. Terrell Georgia Democratic July 14, 1911Resigned for health reasons
Joseph Weldon Bailey Texas Democratic January 3, 1913
Warren G. Harding Ohio Republican January 13, 1921First President of the United States to be elected during his term as a Senator
John F. Nugent Idaho Democratic January 14, 1921Resigned to take office as a member of the Federal Trade Commission
Albert B. Fall New Mexico Republican March 4, 1921Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Interior
Josiah O. Wolcott Delaware Democratic July 2, 1921Resigned to take office as Chancellor of Delaware
William Kenyon Iowa Republican February 24, 1922Resigned to take office as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
Truman Newberry Michigan Republican November 18, 1922 [17] Resigned after being condemned for violating campaign financing rules [18]
Frank L. Smith Illinois Republican February 9, 1928Resigned after the Senate voted to refuse to seat him due to fraud and corruption [19]
T. Coleman du Pont Delaware Republican December 8, 1928Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Charles Curtis Kansas Republican March 3, 1929Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Evans Edge New Jersey Republican November 21, 1929Resigned to take office as United States Ambassador to France
Frederic M. Sackett Kentucky Republican January 9, 1930Resigned to take office as United States Ambassador to Germany
Cordell Hull Tennessee Democratic March 3, 1933Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State
Claude A. Swanson Virginia Democratic March 3, 1933Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Navy
Sam G. Bratton New Mexico Democratic June 24, 1933Resigned to take office as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
Hugo Black Alabama Democratic August 19, 1937Resigned to take office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Dixie Bibb Graves Alabama Democratic January 10, 1938
Harry Moore New Jersey Democratic January 17, 1938Resigned to take office as Governor of New Jersey
Frederick Steiwer Oregon Republican January 31, 1938
William Gibbs McAdoo California Democratic November 8, 1938
Matthew M. Neely West Virginia Democratic January 12, 1941Resigned to take office as Governor of West Virginia
John E. Miller Arkansas Democratic March 31, 1941Resigned to take office as a federal judge on the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
James Byrnes South Carolina Democratic July 8, 1941Resigned to take office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Massachusetts Republican February 3, 1944Resigned to return to active duty in the United States Army during the Second World War
Homer Bone Washington Democratic November 13, 1944Resigned to take office as Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Sinclair Weeks Massachusetts Republican December 19, 1944
Monrad Wallgren Washington Democratic January 9, 1945Resigned to take office as Governor of Washington
Harry Truman Missouri Democratic January 17, 1945Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Harold Burton Ohio Republican September 30, 1945Resigned to take office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Happy Chandler Kentucky Democratic November 1, 1945Resigned to become Commissioner of Baseball
Warren Austin Vermont Republican August 2, 1946Resigned to take office as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Hugh Mitchell Washington Democratic December 25, 1946Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Vera Bushfield South Dakota Republican December 26, 1948Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Alben Barkley Kentucky Democratic January 19, 1949Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Robert Wagner New York Democratic June 28, 1949Resigned due to health reasons
Howard McGrath Rhode Island Democratic August 23, 1949Resigned to take office as United States Attorney General
Raymond Baldwin Connecticut Republican December 16, 1949Resigned to take office as an associate justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors

1950 to 1999

NameStatePartyDate of resignationNotes
Sheridan Downey California Democratic November 30, 1950Resigned due to health reasons
Ralph Brewster Maine Republican December 31, 1952
Richard Nixon California Republican January 1, 1953Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Charles Daniel South Carolina Democratic December 23, 1954Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Hazel Abel Nebraska Republican December 31, 1954Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Strom Thurmond South Carolina Democratic April 4, 1956 [20] Resigned to fulfill a pledge to contest a full election after first being chosen as a write-in candidate
Price Daniel Texas Democratic January 14, 1957 [21] Resigned to take office as Governor of Texas
John F. Kennedy Massachusetts Democratic December 22, 1960Resigned to take office as President of the United States [22]
Lyndon Johnson Texas Democratic January 3, 1961 [23] Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States [22]
Hubert Humphrey Minnesota Democratic December 29, 1964Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Pierre Salinger California Democratic December 31, 1964Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Harry Byrd Virginia Democratic November 10, 1965Resigned due to health reasons [24]
John Williams Delaware Republican December 31, 1970Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
George Murphy California Republican January 2, 1971Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
William Saxbe Ohio Republican January 3, 1974Resigned to take office as United States Attorney General [25]
Alan Bible Nevada Democratic December 17, 1974Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Wallace Bennett Utah Republican December 20, 1974Resigned to allow early appointment of successor [26]
Howard Metzenbaum Ohio Democratic December 23, 1974Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Marlow Cook Kentucky Republican December 27, 1974Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
J. William Fulbright Arkansas Democratic December 31, 1974
Edward Gurney Florida Republican December 31, 1974Resigned after declining to seek re-election while under indictment in an influence peddling scandal [27]
Sam Ervin North Carolina Democratic December 31, 1974
Roman Hruska Nebraska Republican December 27, 1976Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Stuart Symington Missouri Democratic December 27, 1976Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
John Pastore Rhode Island Democratic December 28, 1976Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Walter Mondale Minnesota Democratic December 30, 1976 [28] Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Paul Hatfield Montana Democratic December 12, 1978Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
James Pearson Kansas Republican December 23, 1978Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Wendell Anderson Minnesota Democratic December 29, 1978Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Clifford Hansen Wyoming Republican December 31, 1978Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Edmund Muskie Maine Democratic May 7, 1980Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State [4]
John Durkin New Hampshire Democratic December 29, 1980Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Richard Stone Florida Democratic December 31, 1980Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
Harrison Williams New Jersey Democratic March 11, 1982 [17] Resigned after conviction of bribery in the Abscam scandal ahead of a vote on his expulsion
Paul Tsongas Massachusetts Democratic January 2, 1985Resigned to allow early appointment of successor
David Karnes Nebraska Republican December 8, 1988
Dan Quayle Indiana Republican January 3, 1989Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Gordon Humphrey New Hampshire Republican December 4, 1990Resigned to take seat in New Hampshire Senate
Pete Wilson California Republican January 7, 1991Resigned to take office as Governor of California
Kent Conrad North Dakota Democratic December 14, 1992Resigned after winning a special election to fill North Dakota's other Senate seat
Al Gore Tennessee Democratic January 2, 1993Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States.
Lloyd Bentsen Texas Democratic January 20, 1993Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury [4]
David Boren Oklahoma Democratic December 15, 1994Resigned to become President of the University of Oklahoma. [29]
Bob Packwood Oregon Republican October 1, 1995Resigned after the Senate Ethics Committee recommended his expulsion for ethical misconduct
Bob Dole Kansas Republican June 11, 1996Resigned to run for President of the United States [30]

2000 to present

NameStatePartyDate of resignationNotes
Frank Murkowski Alaska Republican December 2, 2002Resigned to become Governor of Alaska.
Jon Corzine New Jersey Democratic January 17, 2006Resigned to become Governor of New Jersey.
Trent Lott Mississippi Republican December 18, 2007Resigned to pursue a private-sector career. [31]
Barack Obama Illinois Democratic November 16, 2008Resigned to take office as President of the United States. [32]
Joe Biden Delaware Democratic January 15, 2009Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States.
Ken Salazar Colorado Democratic January 20, 2009Resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior.
Hillary Clinton New York Democratic January 21, 2009Resigned to become Secretary of State. [33]
Mel Martínez Florida Republican September 9, 2009Resigned early after declining to seek re-election. [34]
John Ensign Nevada Republican May 3, 2011Resigned during a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into events surrounding an extramarital affair. [35]
Jim DeMint South Carolina Republican January 1, 2013Resigned to become President of the Heritage Foundation.
John Kerry Massachusetts Democratic February 1, 2013Resigned to become Secretary of State.
Max Baucus Montana Democratic February 6, 2014Resigned to become Ambassador to China.
Tom Coburn Oklahoma Republican January 3, 2015Announced resignation January 16, 2014, [36] so a special election to choose his successor could be held in conjunction with the regular election.
Jeff Sessions Alabama Republican February 8, 2017Resigned to become Attorney General.
Al Franken Minnesota Democratic January 2, 2018Resigned after allegations of sexual harassment. He said he expected that an investigation would clear him but he could not do his job and undergo investigation at the same time. [37] [38]
Thad Cochran Mississippi Republican April 1, 2018Resigned because of health issues. [39]
Jon Kyl Arizona Republican December 31, 2018Resigned so that a "new appointee can begin the new term with all other Senators." [40] Kyl was previously appointed to fill the seat left vacant by the death of John McCain.
Johnny Isakson Georgia Republican December 31, 2019Resigned because of health issues. [41]

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