U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Thursday became a day of newsbreaks vis-a-vis the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Tennessee. First, Governor Bill Haslam announced that, after pondering the idea of a race for the Senate seat being vacated by Bob Corker, he had decided otherwise.
Said the Governor:
“While Crissy and I will always be grateful for all of the encouragement and support to run for the United States Senate, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for Senate in 2018. The primary reason is that I want to remain completely focused on my job as governor. I know that being a candidate for the Senate during my last 15 months as governor would be a distraction from the task at hand. And, while I have loved being a mayor and a governor, I don’t feel the same call to run for Senate at this point. At the end of my term, I will have been in public office for 15 years. I feel like I can be most helpful in my next service as a private citizen.”
Within an hour, there came news of a Senate candidacy from 7th District Congressman Marsha Blackburn, strongly rumored to be considering such a race ever since Corker’s recent announcement that he wouldn’t seek reelection.
In a video announcement, clearly prepared well in advance, Blackburn said, inter alia, "I know the left calls me a wingnut or a knuckle-dragging conservative. And you know what, I say that’s alright, bring it on….Courage comes in both genders and I'm running for the U.S. Senate because I'll fight every day to make our Republican majority act like one."
The Congressman (and, yes, she prefers that title to Congresswoman), made a point of singing the praises of President Trump, of calling for progress on the President’s wall project for the Mexican border, and of scourging Senate Republicans for failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile, two Democrats of note — Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga and state Senator Jeff Yarbro of Nashville — are said to be contemplating entry into the Senate race, Nashville lawyer and Iraq war veteran James Mackler of Nashville is a Democrat already running.