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A look at the candidates for Tennessee’s open US Senate seat

July 7, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen are expected to face off in November for a crucial, open U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee.

Here is a quick look at the Democratic and Republican fields in the Aug. 2 primary for Senate. The candidates hope to replace Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who is retiring.

DEMOCRATS

Phil Bredesen

Bredesen served as Tennessee’s governor from 2003 to 2011 and as mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999. Bredesen, who earned his wealth in the health care field before entering politics, is chairman of his solar energy company, Silicon Ranch Corp. Bredesen is running as an independent thinker who says he will work with President Trump when his ideas makes sense for Tennessee, and oppose the president when they don’t.

Gary Davis

Davis is a perennial candidate from Nashville who ran several other times for the Senate and switched to a presidential campaign account in the 2016 cycle. He hasn’t reported raising any campaign money for federal office since giving his campaign $25 in 2006.

John Wolfe

A Chattanooga attorney, Wolfe says on his campaign’s Facebook page that he’s the only real Democrat in the race and stands for single-payer health insurance, expansion of Social Security, withdrawal from Syria and an increased minimum wage. He has not reported raising any money for his bid.

REPUBLICANS

Marsha Blackburn

Blackburn, from Brentwood, owns a marketing firm and was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002. She previously was elected to the Tennessee Senate in 1998 and was named executive director of the state’s Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission in 1995. Blackburn has billed herself as a “hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative” who would fight for President Trump’s agenda in the Senate.

Aaron L. Pettigrew

A truck driver from Murfreesboro, Pettigrew says on his campaign website that he does not have any government experience and would team up with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Joni Ernst if elected. He has not reported any campaign money raised or spent.

INDEPENDENTS

A handful of independent candidates have qualified to be on the ballot come November, including: Trudy A. Austin of Crossville, John Carico of Cleveland, Dean Hill of Franklin, Kevin Lee McCants of Murfreesboro, Breton Phillips of Gallatin and Kris L. Todd of Milan.

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