Mackler announces Dem bid for Tennessee’s open Senate seat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic Nashville attorney and former Army helicopter pilot James Mackler is the first candidate to announce a 2020 bid for the seat Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander will leave after his term.

James Mackler/Facebook

Mackler told the AP Tuesday about his Senate bid plans. In an announcement video, the 46-year-old says he’s not a politician and President Donald Trump is making life harder across Tennessee, citing health care, the tax law and the trade war.

Mackler started a 2018 Senate bid before former Republican Sen. Bob Corker decided not to seek re-election. Mackler later stopped running and endorsed Democratic ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen, who lost to new Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who leaves office this month, is mulling a run to replace Alexander.

Republicans have held both Tennessee Senate seats since 1994.

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