NASHVILLE — Calling Washington "broken" but fixable, former Gov. Phil Bredesen made it official today with the Democrat announcing he is running to succeed U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in 2018.
Bredesen, who served as Tennessee's governor from 2003 to 2011, enters a race that already features one Democrat, Nashville attorney James Mackler, and two Republicans, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood and former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, who is from rural West Tennessee.
The former governor, who recently turned 74, has been publicly exploring running since mid-October.
"We all know Washington is broken," Bredesen said in a video announcing his decision this morning. "But while politicians are up there playing partisan games and working on their reelection, out here in America, back here in Tennessee, we have some real problems."
A former Nashville mayor and self-made millionaire, Bredesen cited a lack of "quality" jobs and a need to fix the Affordable Care Act well as address the nation's soaring deficit, spending by Congress and the opioid "crisis."
"It's a mess, but it can be fixed," Bredesen said. "I'm running for the Senate because I have the right kind of experience — and the actual track record — that it will take to start working across party lines to fix the mess in Washington and bring common sense back to our government."
A moderate, Bredesen is the last Democrat to win a statewide Tennessee race.