Blackburn announced her candidacy for the Senate in early October.
Scott Golden, chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, said, "Former Governor Phil Bredesen's record represents the Tennessee of yesterday when Democrats labeled extreme unemployment rates, higher taxes, and a total lack of government transparency as 'prospering.' A lot has changed in the last 16 years, since the first time he ran for statewide office".
The man elected that year was Al Gore, who went on to resign from office to serve eight years as vice president under President Bill Clinton and then remake himself as a fringe-left environmental crusader. Before that, he served as mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999.
Former Nashville lawyer and Iraq War vet James Mackler is the only other announced candidate for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by Republican Bob Corker.
Should Mr. Bredesen become the party's standard-bearer, however, he will test whether the state has undergone an enduring realignment or whether a well-financed and well-known Democrat can win when there is a more favorable climate.
Major Republican candidates include Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher.
The race will also determine if Tennessee's tradition of electing political moderates, whether they be Democrats or Republicans, was a reflection of a less polarized time or still holds as a lasting feature of a varied state that spans two time zones and absorbs Appalachia, the transient-rich New South and more agrarian Old South. "Marsha is the only true conservative in this race who will ensure liberal Bredesen doesn't block President Trump's agenda in Washington".
Bredesen was Nashville mayor when he earned the Democratic gubernatorial in 1994.