Mark Green, Joe Carr considering run against Corker

State Sen. Mark Green is reconsidering a challenge to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in the 2018 Republican primary, reports the Times Free Press, and former state Rep. Joe Carr is thinking about  it, too.

“Anyone truly committed to the people of Tennessee would have no choice but to consider running given the overwhelming push by people all over the state to do so,” state said Green in a text to the newspaper. “I am seriously considering it.”

On Aug. 8, Green declared that he had given thought to running for Congress but decided against the idea “as everything sits right now.” Instead, he announced formation of a political advocacy group that focuses on evangelical Christians. (Previous post HERE.)

Politico reported this week that Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for President Donald Trump, is developing a list of incumbent Republican senators as potential targets for defeat in 2018 primaries and that Corker is on the list. (Previous post HERE.) And Corker caused a stir by saying he’s still undecided about whether to seek another term.

Breitbart News, which Bannon once again heads, recently reported that Green was unhappy about Corker’s criticisms of Trump.

“I’ve already told Sen. Corker my thoughts about his comments about the President and that’s as far as I intend to go at this point,” Green was quoted saying.

Carr, meanwhile, said Wednesday he has “talked to a number of people who’ve been and maybe are still inside the White House” about his candidacy as he weighs a bid. The hard-right Middle Tennessee Republican declined to say whether that list included Bannon.

“The feedback varied but first of all I was encouraged they knew who I was,” said Carr. ” And they understood my pedigree is one who’s not afraid to engage in the fight. I said while President Trump and I disagree from time to time on the issues, the thing I find that’s attractive is his willingness to fight.”

Carr said he’s gotten encouragement to run from any number of Republicans who like his hard-line views about illegal immigration and other issues and are upset with Corker.

Note: A Tennessee Star poll of likely GOP primary voters in June found that Corker would defeat Carr 51 percent to 24 percent. That survey found Corker would face a much tighter race if U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn ran against him. Blackburn said in June she had no plans for a run, intending to seek reelection to Congress.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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