NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee voters have decided to send Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn to the U.S. Senate, dashing Democratic dreams of a red-state upset in their quest to gain control of Congress.
Blackburn is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate by Tennesseans. She will take the seat currently held by Sen. Bob Corker, who decided not to run for re-election. She has described herself as a “hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative” who is “politically incorrect and proud of it.”
Tuesday night, the Senator-elect issued this statement regarding her win:
“You have sent a message that it is time to take Tennessee conservative values to Washington and keep our state and our country moving forward. I am so incredibly grateful to each of you for doing your part, standing with me, staying strong and turning out the vote. It is such an honor to be the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee. I am going to work as hard for you as you have worked for me. Just as we said on day one, I will take our shared Tennessee values to work on issues of importance to you in Washington: more constitutional federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, lower taxes, less regulation, protecting the right to life, defending the Second Amendment, providing for our troops and veterans, getting the federal budget under control and building the wall once and for all on the southern border. Thank you for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. This is very humbling, and I will not let you down.” – Marsha Blackburn
On the issues, Blackburn said she supports cutting taxes and simplifying the tax code, deregulation, enforcing existing immigration laws and strengthening border security, banning sanctuary cities, repealing Obamacare, and promoting free trade.
The congresswoman’s [projected] victory over her Democratic opponent, former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, marks the conclusion of a high-stakes, high-profile race that gained national attention and included White House involvement.
Blackburn had the support of President Donald Trump, who made stops in Nashville, Johnson City, and Chattanooga to support her bid for Senate. Throughout her campaign, she promised voters she would support the president’s policies and proposals, including the U.S.-Mexico border wall. However, she has voiced opposition to tariffs on China.
“A vote for Marsha is really a vote for me and everything we stand for,” Trump said during the Johnson City rally. “It’s a vote for ‘make America great again.’”
Trump won Tennessee in the 2016 presidential election with a 61% share of the state’s vote.
While Blackburn’s campaign strategy involved associating herself with the leader of her party, her opponent did the opposite. Bredesen tried to distance himself from high-level Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer and former President Barack Obama in an attempt to convince conservative and independent voters to look past the “D” next to his name on the ballot. Touting his accomplishments as Tennessee’s governor, he branded himself as a reasonable and moderate candidate who would seek compromise and bipartisanship if elected.
Blackburn’s campaign repeatedly attacked Bredesen over his party affiliation.
Blackburn was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2002. She represents Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. The congressman has served on several committees, including the Budget Committee and Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Before making it to Washington, she served as a state senator.
Blackburn will take office January 3.