NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Phil Bredesen is joining the race to become a U.S. senator.
Multiple sources confirmed to News 2 the formal announcement will take place Thursday as he enters the Democratic primary.
Bredesen is entering the race after initially indicating that he felt his time had past, but numerous individuals from Tennessee and Washington have urged him to run.
Earlier this fall, the former Tennessee governor indicated he was mulling over a run and his decision included meeting with U.S. Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer in Washington.
Bredesen is the last Democrat to win a state wide race in Tennessee when he easily won a second term as governor in 2006. Before his two terms in the state house, he was Nashville mayor from 1991 to 1999.
Former Nashville lawyer and Iraq War vet James Mackler is the only other announced candidate for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by Republican Bob Corker.
After Bredesen’s announcement, Mackler sent the following statement to News 2: “I joined the Army after 9/11 because I needed to do more, and was compelled to step forward and run for U.S. Senate eight months ago because politics as usual in Washington is not working for Tennessee. The best pathway to win Tennessee is having a clear contrast between an Iraq war combat veteran that volunteers to serve his country against a career politician who only serves special interests, and with the help of Tennesseans across this state, we’re going to win.”
Major Republican candidates include Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher.
Upon hearing the news, Blackburn released a statement saying, “Tennessee families want change and that is not what 74-year-old Democrat politician Phil Bredesen will bring to the United States Senate.”
She continued, “Bredesen’s views are out-of-touch with Tennessee values, he supported President Obama’s liberal policies, is against second amendment rights and even authored a plan to give illegal immigrants driving certificates. Marsha is the only true conservative in this race who will ensure liberal Bredesen doesn’t block President Trump’s agenda in Washington.”