Bredesen to visit Lee on Aug. 17

Phil Bredesen, the Democrat running to replace Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate, will visit Lee University in August.

The former Tennessee governor is expected to be on the Cleveland, Tennessee, campus on Aug. 17 for a campaign event, according to an announcement on Twitter.

Bredesen is facing Republican Marsha Blackburn in the Nov. 6 race.


Mason gets nod from UTC group

The College Republicans chapter at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has endorsed Jonathan Mason in the House District 30 race.

Mason faces Esther Helton in the GOP primary to fill the seat vacated this year by Rep. Marc Gravitt in District 30.

The Facebook endorsement says Mason "represents the principle Republican values in our state" and says he "has worked relentlessly over the years championing our party not only within District 30 but throughout the entire state."

It calls Mason a "Proven Conservative Fighter. A Lifetime Republican."


Smith raises $42,927 in District 26 race

Robin Smith, the Republican candidate for state House District 26, said this week she has raised nearly $42,927 for the campaign.

"I am honored by Tennesseans across District 26, Hamilton County and the state who have stepped up with their support," Smith said. "Facing a condensed election, an opponent with nearly a year head start on our campaign and a frivolous legal effort by Tennessee Democrats to deny District 26 residents our right to vote, more than 85 donors demonstrated their commitment to our effort and their faith in me with generous contributions."

The Tennessee Democratic Party has challenged Smith's right to be on the ballot. The case is set for a hearing Aug. 6 in Hamilton County Chancery Court.

If she is allowed to remain on the ballot, she will face Democrat David Jones in the Nov. 6 general election.


Pence backs Black in governor's race

Vice President Mike Pence has endorsed Diane Black for governor in Tennessee's Republican primary.

In a statement posted Friday on Twitter, Pence said: "There are great candidates running but Diane has been my friend for years, we served together in the House, & she has my support!"

Black celebrated the endorsement, saying: "I am honored that Vice President Pence would choose to support me in a state like Tennessee that overwhelmingly supported him and President Trump in 2016."

The announcement comes one day after Gov. Bill Haslam said he wanted the White House to stay out of the Tennessee race.

"I don't think it's helpful for the White House to be involved in primaries," he told reporters Thursday, adding that in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, he and the group are staying out of open GOP primaries and asked the White House back in February to do likewise.

Black is among four leading Republicans running in the Aug. 2 GOP primary. Other Republicans in the field are Knoxville businessman and former state economic and community development commissioner Randy Boyd; state House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and Franklin businessman Bill Lee. Early voting ends today.


Phillips lashes at DesJarlais

Mariah Phillips, a Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Republican Scott DesJarlais in Tennessee's 4th Congressional District, slammed his support for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan.

In a news release, Phillips said Jordan "has been accused of ignoring sexual abuse accusations during his time as a coach at Ohio State." Jordan and DesJarlais are members of the House Freedom Caucus, which this week introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Phillips said Jordan and DesJarlais "represent everything wrong with Washington today."

"Jim Jordan has for years led an extremist group of lawmakers who have created much of the partisan gridlock in Washington. They have shut down our government and prevented bipartisan compromise on issues from fixing our immigration system to providing better health care," Phillips said in the release.

She also condemned "an alarming culture among many elected officials in Washington that tolerates sexual harassment and abuse" and made reference to DesJarlais' own history of "inappropriate behavior and abuse" before he was elected to Congress.

DesJarlais, a physician, has admitted to affairs with former patients and co-workers, and his ex-wife accused him of harassment, intimidation and physical abuse in the midst of a bitter divorce.


Alexander says Kavanaugh qualified

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., released a statement Friday after meeting with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

"In 2006, I voted for Judge Kavanaugh to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals because he impressed me with his intelligence, temperament and experience," Alexander said. "He is committed to deciding cases based upon the law and not his own point of view. The Senate is fortunate to have someone of his caliber to consider."

Alexander was present when Trump nominated Kavanaugh at the White House on July 9, the statement said.