Mackler unfazed as Bredesen decision nears on U.S. Senate run

James Mackler (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – James Mackler seems unfazed as parts of the political world focus on Phil Bredesen.

Mackler is the only declared Democrat for the U.S. Senate race while the former governor Bredesen ponders a run.

“I am not really thinking about Phil Bredesen,” Mackler told News 2 Tuesday. “As you know, I entered the race six months ago.

In this Dec. 13, 2010 photo, Gov. Phil Bredesen talks about his eight years in office during an interview, in Nashville, Tenn. Bredesen, the last Democrat to win a statewide race in Tennessee, is considering a bid to succeed retiring Republican Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Democrat’s initial opponent when he entered was incumbent Senator Bob Corker, but his two-term Republican’s announcement that he would not run again set the stage for Congressiomal member Marsha Blackburn’s entry.

Many of Mackler’s words for now are for her, not Phil Bredesen.

“I think the best way to win this Senate seat is to do what I am doing, which is constantly talking about demonstrating the contrast between someone who joined the army after 9-11 and who has a history of serving his country versus someone who has a history of serving special interests,” added Mackler. “Someone who is truly a political outsider versus someone who is truly part of the political machine.”

Mackler, who became a lawyer after flying Army choppers, says his military career is resonating with Tennesseans, along with a message of togetherness.

“I have seen what we can accomplish when we work together, and it’s incredible,” said the Senate candidate. “I have seen that in Iraq and I have seen that in the courtroom.”

Mackler half-joked that another way he might distinguish himself from others in the race is ride a motorcycle to campaign events.

It would be in the tradition of other successful statewide campaign vehicles, such as Fred Thompson’s red pickup in 1994 in a race won an open Senate seat.

As for Bredesen, who in 2006 was the last Democrat to win a statewide race, his decision remains one that could come any day now. Mackler just does not seem too concerned about it.