Former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has added his name to a crowded field of candidates for the U.S. Senate seat that Bob Corker announced he would not seek re-election in 2018. Bredesen joins fellow Democrat James Mackler to contest for the DNC primary on August 2, 2018. Bredesen retained the honor fo being the last Democrat to win a statewide office in Tennessee.
Rumors indicating Bredesen could enter the race have been heard since the beginning of November. This was in contradiction to an earlier proclamation from Bredesen himself stating that he would not run. In an email to supporters sent out two hours after news of Bredesen’s candidacy, the Mackler campaign requested contributions to a “rapid response fund.” The email touted Mackler’s military as a contrast to Bredesen as “a career politician who only serves special interests.”
Whichever of the Democrats that emerges from the primary will continue to face an uphill battle as they will have to face the Republican primary winner in what has proven to be a red leaning constituency in the last few elections for state and federal seats. None of Bredesen top campaign members have formally been announced, but many prominent democrats have expressed support for his candidacy.