Politics

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen Running for Senate in Tennessee

Democrats already have an Iraq War veteran in the open-seat race

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said his experience prepares him to “fix the mess in Washington” in announcing his campaign for retiring Sen. Bob Corker’s seat. (Bredesen for Senate via YouTube)

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is running for the open Senate seat in Tennessee. 

“I’m running for the Senate because I have the right kind of experience, and the actual track record that it will take to start working across party lines to fix the mess in Washington,” Bredesen said in announcement video Thursday morning. 

Bredesen, 74, is the last Democrat to win statewide election in Tennessee. He served as governor from 2003 to 2011 and as mayor of Nashville before that. 

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, announced in September he would not seek re-election in 2018

Bredesen touted his business experience in his announcement. He started HealthAmerica, a healthcare management company, and could bring his own money to the race. 

“Before I ran for office, I was a businessman,” he says in his video. “I was the CEO of a successful public company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, one that I started on my kitchen table and grew to 6,000 employees.”

Democrats already have a candidate in the race. Iraq War veteran James Mackler has been running since the spring. 

“The best pathway to win Tennessee is having a clear contrast between an Iraq war combat veteran that volunteers to serve his country against a career politician who only serves special interests, and with the help of Tennesseans across this state, we’re going to win,” Mackler said in a statement to the Tennessean on Wednesday. 

Tennessee Democratic Party chair Mary Mancini called Bredesen's entrance into the race "truly exciting" in a statement on Thursday. 

On the GOP side, 7th District Rep. Marsha Blackburn is running for the nomination, as is former 8th District Rep. Stephen Fincher

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales currently rates the race Solid Republican

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