Update on Corker successor candidate speculation

Gov. Bill Haslam, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment on the possibility of trying to succeed Sen. Bob Corker Tuesday. He’s certain to be asked about it at his next scheduled media availability on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is definitely interested, reports The Tennessean, and will make a decision soon.

“Rep. Blackburn appreciates the outpouring of encouragement and support she has received about a possible Senate run,” said campaign spokeswoman Darcy Anderson…  She ran for Congress to advance her conservative values and fight for the people of Tennessee. Over the next week she will take a look at the Senate race and decide how, and where, she believes she can best serve her state and her nation.

Also, from The Hill: “Yes,” Blackburn said when asked if she’s taking a look at the Senate race. Blackburn said colleagues told her about Corker’s retirement during votes on the House floor. The Senate Foreign Relations chairman did not give his delegation any advance notice of his decision, lawmakers said.

If Blackburn runs for the Senate, state Sen. Mark Green  may opt to drop his own consideration of a Senate run and instead go for the 7th Congressional District seat now held by Blackburn.

There’s much speculation, especially in sport-oriented media, that former football star Peyton Manning, famous as quarterback for the University of Tennessee in his college days and later with the NFL, will run. U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais told Business Insider that he doesn’t think Manning will run for Corker’s seat, but instead could be eyeing Sen. Lamar Alexander’s seat in 2020 if he chooses to retire as well.

And, in The Hill story on Blackburn, DesJarlais is quoted as saying Blackburn would be “formidable” if she runs for the Senate.

The Nashville Post, in an overall speculation story, raises the possibility that state legislators may be eyeing a run on the Democratic side along with already-announced James Mackler.

No one is yet saying if they’re in, but speculation is hovering around some younger names in the Legislature. Two Nashville Democrats, Rep. John Ray Clemmons and Sen. Jeff Yarbro, could be possibilities. Memphis Sen. Lee Harris, the chamber’s Minority Leader, said Tuesday night he plans to stay in Memphis for the time being. But Rep. Raumesh Akbari has raised her national profile over the past year with a speech at the Democratic National Convention and leadership in the National Black Caucus.

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