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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) received a standing ovation for his service as he reaches the end of his final term.

With more than four decades of service in Congress (36 of those in the U.S. Senate), Sen. Shelby thanked community members during an event hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber Monday morning.

“Thanks to a lot of people in this room that have helped me over the years, help get me elected and re-elected, and re-elected, and re-elected. I’m grateful for that, and I thank you for that,” expressed Shelby during the event. 

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Over the years, the senator has been an advocate and champion for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and its role in space science and exploration. 

In recent years, Shelby has been one of the driving forces behind the move to locate a significant FBI presence at Redstone. He’s also secured funding for a new federal courthouse in Downtown Huntsville.

“Somebody said to me one time, ‘who do you work for?’ I said, ‘Well half my time and 65% of my time in my office, we’re working for Huntsville,'” stated Shelby. 

During the event, many expressed their gratitude for the senator and all he’s brought to the area.

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Dale Strong, Madison County Commission Chairman, says “We the Mayor of Huntsville, Madison, and the Chair of the Madison County Commission do proclaim September 19, 2022, as ‘Richard Shelby’ day.”

Kimberly Robinson, U.S. Space & Rocket Center CEO/Executive Director, said “Senator Shelby, thank you for your work and your leadership. Because of your diligence, we are on the road to recovery. We’re here today and we’re determined to serve this community better than ever before.”

During the breakfast event, Sen. Shelby spoke about the influx of FBI jobs coming to North Alabama and upcoming defense spending bills.