President Donald Trump appointed Tracy, R-Shelbyville, to the position of Tennessee director for rural development late Friday. Tracy accepted the appointment and under the Tennessee Constitution is required to relinquish his Senate seat.
"Serving the people of the 14th Senatorial District has been the honor of my lifetime. I'm proud of my record over the past 13 years and thankful for the many friendships I've made along the way," Tracy said.
"It has been a tremendous journey. I was grateful to be able to help my friend former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey build our majority in the Senate to put conservative ideas into action. And I was beyond honored to serve in leadership as Lt. Gov. McNally's Speaker Pro Tempore.
"Trena and I have been truly blessed to serve the people of the 14th District. I am excited to continue my public service promoting and strengthening Tennessee's and rural areas. This is a great opportunity to serve my nation and my state doing something I am truly passionate about. I look forward to working with Secretary Perdue to make a difference in rural Tennessee.”
The appointment will place Tracy within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he will continue to work to improve the economy and the quality of life for rural Tennesseans.
"This is a great loss for the Senate but a big win for Tennessee agriculture. Jim Tracy has been integral to the success we have had as a Senate and as a state. Since his election in 2004, he has been right in the middle of the Republican revolution in Tennessee as we cut taxes, reduced spending and made state government more transparent and efficient," McNally said.
"Jim has always been a fierce advocate for his constituents. He served the Senate well as Senate transportation chairman and distinguished himself in the high-ranking post of speaker pro tempore. I know he will continue to excel in this new position as he continues to promote excellence serving our rural areas.”
USDA Rural Development promotes economic development in rural areas through loans, grants and loan guarantees to help create jobs create jobs and strengthen rural economies with an emphasis to assist areas of persistent poverty.
Tracy was first elected to the state Senate in 2004. He most recently served as the Senate speaker pro tempore and formerly served as chairman of the Senate's Transportation and Safety Committee.
Tracy's resignation from the Senate will trigger a special election in District 14. The governor will determine the date of the special election.