NASHVILLE - Democratic U.S. Senate candidate James Mackler said Wednesday he's so far raised $750,000 for his effort saying he is "hubled and grateful for this outpouring of support."
In an email thanking supporters, the Nashville attorney and decorated Iraq war veteran noted "I'm not a politician and I never thought I'd run for public office. When we started, I had no idea how many people would join our team."
Mackler launched his bid in March in expectations that he would be facing incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who surprised many last month by announcing he would not seek a third term.
In the wake of that, several Republicans and three Democrats say they are looking at jumping in, among them Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, a former Democratic state senator.
Federal candidates' third quarter financial disclosures are due Oct. 15 for the period covering Aug. 1 through Sept. 1. Mackler had previously disclosed raising $500,000, so he's effectively raised another $250,000.
There was no information immediately available on what he's spent.
Mackler said in his email that "six months ago I resigned from my law firm to launch this U.S. Senate race," feeling "compelled to step forward against Bob Corker and all his special interest money because I could not stand idly by while partisans in Washington manufactured crisis after crisis."
Besides Berke, other Democrats looking at entering the race are state Sen. Jeff Yarbro, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons and successful businessman Bill Freeman, all of Nashville.
Freeman spent more than $4.5 million on his unsuccessful 2015 Nashville mayoral bid.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, a Corker friend, has been weighing a Senate bid and has said he would announce a decision this week. Others weighing a race include U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn.