Bob Corker

Fincher drops out of Senate race, urges Corker to get back in

Former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (Image credit: Fincher campaign)

Former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (Image credit: Fincher campaign)

Former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, the gospel signing farmer from Frog Jump, is dropping out of the U.S. Senate race and urging incumbent Sen. Bob Corker to reconsider his decision not to seek a third term.

“My campaign has always been about what’s best for Tennessee,” Fincher said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “Tennessee families need a strong conservative voice in the Senate, someone who will stand with President Trump and lead the Republican Party forward.

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Poll finds 64 percent of TN GOP voters want Corker to retire

A poll of likely Tennessee Republican primary voters, commissioned by the Senate Conservatives Fund, found 64 percent want Bob Corker to retire from the U.S. Senate while 24 percent said he should run for reelection with 12 percent undecided, according to Breitbart News.

The poll also found that Blackburn – who has been endorsed by SCF – would be strongly favored to defeat Corker and U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher a hypothetical three-way Republican U.S. Senate  The results: 49 percent for Blackburn, 26 percent for Corker and 9 percent for Fincher.

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Update on Corker reconsidering: rebuff from Trump (?), Blackburn sees sexism afoot, etc.

Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign said Tuesday — responding to reports that Sen. Bob Corker is considering reversing an earlier decision and running for reelection to a new U.S. Senate term — that anyone who thinks she can’t win the general election in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race is a “plain sexist pig,” reports the Associated Press.

The New York Times reports, meanwhile, that President Donald Trump has been encouraging Blackburn and rebuffing – so far – what one Republican calls a “charm offensive” by Sen. Bob Corker and supporters seeking the president’s support for Corker seeking for reelection.

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Politico: ‘Distaste’ for Blackburn behind GOP prodding of Corker to reconsider retirement

Following up on earlier reports, Politico says  “a faction of Republicans in Tennessee and Washington” – worried that Republican Marsha Blackburn could lose the November U.S. Senate general election and give Democrats a Senate majority – continues to urge Sen. Bob Corker to reconsider his retirement plans.

A Blackburn spokeswoman scoffs at the notion of the current congressman as a loser and Corker is non-committal (though someone ‘close’ to the senator says he’s listening), according to the lengthy article. The piece also suggests that Corker has “reached out” to President Donald Trump to get his thinking on a retreat from retirement.

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Politico: Poll has Bredesen leading Blackburn 47-45

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood. (Photo credit: Blackburn for Senate campaign)

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood. (Photo credit: Blackburn for Senate campaign)

Politico reports that a late January poll had Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen leading Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn 47% to 45% in a head-to-head matchup in the Tennessee Senate race.

The poll conducted by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies indicates that a generic Republican would be preferred over a Democrat, and that President Donald Trump retains a strong approval rating. The takeaway, Politico says, is that “Blackburn is in for a tough race” even in a heavily Republican state like Tennessee.

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Trump proposes selling TVA assets; Alexander and Corker say that won’t happen

President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal calls for selling Tennessee Valley Authority’ electric transmission assets to help pay for a new $1.5 trillion infrastructure program, reports Michael Collins.

“The private sector is best suited to own and operate electricity transmission assets,” the administration wrote in the president’s proposed budget. “Eliminating the federal government’s own role in owning and operating transmission assets encourages a more efficient allocation of economic resources and mitigates unnecessary risk to taxpayers.”

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CNN: Corker (maybe) thinking about reversing course on retirement

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker tours Mars Petcare on Aug. 22, 2017. (Photo credit: Corker Senate office.)

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker tours Mars Petcare on Aug. 22, 2017. (Photo credit: Corker Senate office.)

Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker has been talking to colleagues about the possibility of reconsidering his announced retirement, according to a CNN report.

The details are sketchy, even within the context of the anonymous rumor mongering typical of Washington political reporting. CNN says there’s disagreement about whether Corker has initiated the talks about his political future, or if the subject just came up when it was raised by colleagues who want him to run again.

(Update: The Tennessean has spoken to a top Corker adviser, who says: “It is true that Senator Corker has been encouraged by people across Tennessee and in the Senate to reconsider his decision, but at this point nothing has changed.”)

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Trump nominates GOP activist John Ryder to TVA board

Memphis attorney John L. Ryder, who has served as general counsel at the Republican National Committee for the past five years and as the GOP’s national committeeman from Tennessee, has been nominated to fill the last open seat on the Tennessee Valley Authority, reports the Times Free Press.

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Trump hails TN and its politicians — including Corker and Andrew Jackson

Tennessee Republican officials stood by President Donald Trump on stage Monday and much of the party’s congressional delegation rode Air Force One into Nashville for his speech to America’s farmers, according to the Associated Press. He also praised President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat.

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Corker, Duncan quoted in report on ‘bumper crop’ of retiring congressmen

In an article on the two dozen members of Congress who are retiring this year, Politico suggests that unhappiness with the current political environment is a factor – and quotes two departing Tennessee politicians in the process.

People retire every cycle. But this year’s group is a bumper crop of members wondering whether Congress is broken forever—even as they insist they love their own jobs.

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