Politics

Former Democratic Governor Weighing Tennessee Senate Run

Bredesen is the last Democrat to hold statewide office in Tennessee

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, left, presents singer-songwriter Dolly Parton her star as she is inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame on November 8, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. Current potential Michigan Senate candidate Robert Ritchie, a.k.a. Kid Rock, applauds center-right. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is weighing whether to jump into Tennessee’s senate race to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker.

Bredesen is the last Democrat to win statewide office in Tennessee.

After initially denying interest in the seat, Bredesen said in a statement he was weighing a run, according to the Tennessean.

“Since then, a number of people for whom I have great respect have encouraged me to reconsider and I am doing so,” he said. “In the days ahead, I’m going to do some research, talk with people and carefully think this through.”

The state’s top Democratic donor, businessman Bill Freeman, encouraged Bredesen to run in an online petition.

In the past, Bredesen self-financed his campaigns, but a Senate run would require a vast amount of money, he said.

Bredesen’s name has been floated for a Senate run in the past. But he declined to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander, the state’s other Republican Senator, in 2014.

“I love solving problems and in Washington right now there is plenty of material,” his statement said.

So far, the top contender in the race is Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who announced earlier this month.

Term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam decided not to seek the seat but former Rep. Stephen Fincher is seen as another potential candidate.

Currently, the only Democrat in the race is Nashville attorney and veteran James Mackler. But Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and state Rep. John Jay Clemons are also considering bids.

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