Reaction To Former TN Gov. Phil Bredesen's U.S. Senate Run

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - A move Thursday morning by a former Tennessee Governor is getting a lot of attention in the political world. Democrat Phil Bredesen says he's now running for U.S. Senate to change Washington.

The balance of power in the U.S. Senate might be at stake.

Phil Bredesen, who spent 8-years as Tennessee Governor ending in 2011, spent the day making calls to friends and donors after his announcement Thursday morning.

Bredesen, who also served as Nashville mayor from 1991-1999, said he was resurrecting his political life because, "we deserve something better than we are getting in Washington and a Senator to make that happen."

“I am 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 and bring common sense back to our government,” said Bredesen.

Bredesen spearheaded efforts to bring pro sports to Nashville and built a new library system. As Governor, he helped quiet Tennessee's budget wars, while cutting nearly 200,000 people from eligibility for the state's Medicaid program TennCare.

But Bredesen won't go anywhere without winning what might be a tough primary fight.

“Someone who is a political outsider versus someone who is truly part of the political machine,” says Democratic opponent James Mackler. The Nashville lawyer was quick to say, without naming an opponent, that the Senate race is about he as a "combat vet versus a career politician who only serves special interests."

Potential Republican opponent Marsha Blackburn responded to Bredesen's candidacy saying change "is not what 74-year-old Democrat politician Phil Bredesen will bring."

Many of the people Bredesen worked with as Governor, will be working on his campaign.

Bredesen initially said his time had passed when asked about running, but close friends say he was swayed by the argument "it’s not about you, it’s about country."

 


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