Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) confirmed late Tuesday that she is considering a run for retiring Senator Bob Corker’s (R-TN) United States Senate seat.
That confirmation came “within minutes” of Corker’s stunning announcement that would not run for re-election in 2018, the Hill reported:
Minutes after learning that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) won’t seek reelection, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) told The Hill on Tuesday she’s considering running for his Senate seat in 2018.
“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 enters the race, she would likely clear the field of any other conservative challengers for the seat.
An establishment candidate, such as current Governor Bill Haslam, might emerge, but if she announces, Blackburn will become the prohibitive favorite for both the Republican nomination and the general election victory in November.
Blackburn’s statewide appeal was demonstrated in a poll of likely Republican primary voters conducted by The Tennessee Star in early June which showed her in a statistical tie with Senator Corker in a theoretical head-to-head matchup. With Corker out of the race, no one else would appear to have the statewide appeal to come close to Blackburn at present.
With slightly more than ten months until the August 2, 2018 Republican primary in Tennessee, however, many circumstances could change.