Corker’s retirement not changing message of Democratic candidate

James Mackler (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Senator Bob Corker’s decision not to seek re-election scrambled the Democratic Party political landscape in Tennessee, as well as the well-documented Republican side.

Who is running and who is not running for the suddenly wide-open Senate seat has been a guessing game that has not yet come into clear focus for either party, but that is not much of a concern for James Mackler.

He’s the Nashville lawyer and decorated Iraq War veteran who quit his job to run for full time for the Democratic nomination to the seat now held by Senator Corker, but he is not changing things now that the incumbent won’t be there and there might be other members of his own party in the race.

James Mackler (Photo: WKRN)

“No, my message does not change,” Mackler told News 2 Monday. “I am out there meeting people, learning from them, making sure they understand what I stand for, what my values are and what I am going to do for the people of Tennessee.”

His message has been clear since he entered the race.

“I am running to make sure the people of Tennessee have access to high quality good paying jobs, good educational opportunities and access to quality health care,” he added.

With Corker’s announcement, other Democrats starting think about running.

Nashville State Senator Jeff Yarbro thought about it and then decided against a bid. So did businessman Bill Freeman, who ran for Nashville mayor, but he has been trying to convince former governor Phil Bredesen to run for Corker’s seat with no luck yet.

Along with those names considering a run, so is former state senator and now Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

Another Democrat said to be considering a run for Corker’s seat is longtime party activist and Nashville lawyer Larry Woods.