NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While there has been a lot of attention on the Tennessee governor’s race next year, there will also be a closely watched U.S. Senate race that could have several challengers for incumbent Bob Corker’s seat.
The senator has recently said he’s “leaning toward” another run, but will he face Republican challengers in the August 2018?
Mr. Corker appears to be in no hurry to announce his plans.
“If he is going to run for re-election, its in his best interests to keep things calm, keep things coy,” says longtime Tennessee conservative political analyst Steve Gill. “That’s because he has plenty of money, for to six million in his account and two or three more million in a PAC account.”
Gill is affiliated with the Tennessee Star website that recently put out a poll with an accompanying story saying Senator Corker could be in trouble with Republican Primary voters.
While the findings have been disputed off the record by other Tennessee Republican strategists, few can ignore the senator has long been a potential target of Tea Party-type Tennessee voters who are overwhelmingly in the President Trump camp.
“Part of it is some of the anti-Trump stuff that (Corker) has said, saying that Donald Trump is ‘out of control,’ his administration is in a ‘downward spiral.’ added Gill. “When we polled that question…we found in those poll numbers was that his numbers dropped considerably when people hear him say negative things about Donald Trump.”
The office of Middle Tennessee congressional member Marsha Blackburn recently said she would not challenge the senator and intends to focus on her re-election, but some say that could change.
Other names sometimes mentioned as potential Republican challengers to Senator Corker include State Senator Mark Green, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, State House Representative Andy Holt, and Americans for Prosperity Tennessee state director Andrew Ogles.
As for Democrats, Nashville attorney James Mackler is raising money for a run for Corker’s senate seat.