Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen is mulling a bid for Senate to replace the retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Trump asserts his power over Republicans Romney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force MORE (R-Tenn.), he told The Associated Press on Monday.
Bredesen, who left office in 2011 and remains the last Democrat to hold the position, told the AP that he will “talk with people and carefully think this through” over the next few days.
He added that he will make a decision “quickly” and admitted that he enjoys “solving problems and in Washington right now there is plenty of material.”
The flirtation adds intrigue to the race to replace Corker, even though the seat is expected to stay in Republican hands.
Iraq War veteran and attorney James Mackler is the top candidate in the Democratic Primary right now, but Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke is also considering a bid.
Bredesen won his last reelection bid in 2006 by an overwhelming margin before leaving office after the 2010 elections due to term limits. During his term as governor, he was at the center of a high-profile budget fight, particularly surrounding the state’s Medicaid program.
On the GOP side, Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters Five things to know about Trump’s legal power under the Insurrection Act MORE (R-Tenn.) is the top candidate. Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.) had entertained a bid briefly but ultimately decided against it, clearing the way for Blackburn to grab a tight hold of the party’s path to the nomination.
A pro-Trump outside group allied with former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon endorsed Blackburn’s bid last week.