Former Tennessee Governor Winfield Dunn, a Republican, endorsed U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) for the U.S. Senate on Friday last week.
Dunn picked Blackburn over one of his successors, former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, who is running against Blackburn.
Blackburn and Bredesen are running for the seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN).
Speaking about his endorsement, Dunn said, “November’s election is not about the past; it is about the future of the state and the country. Marsha Blackburn is the only candidate who will vote to protect Tennessee values. She has dedicated her life to making things better for her fellow Tennesseans, and she will represent us faithfully in the United States Senate.”
A video of Dunn’s endorsement is available to watch here.
In the video, Dunn said, “I strongly urge your support and your vote for Senator Blackburn.”
Responding to the endorsement, Blackburn said, “Governor Dunn made history as the first Republican governor in 50 years, but he is most well-known for his gracious spirit and love of public service. He and Betty serve as role models for each of us who seeks to serve. I am so humbled to have his endorsement. In the Senate, I will seek to emulate his example.”
Dunn, who was born in Mississippi in 1927, served as governor from 1971-1975, according to the 2017-2018 Tennessee Blue Book. At 17, he volunteered to serve in World War II.
“A practicing dentist, he was the first Republican governor in fifty years and served at a time of increased urbanization, industrial growth, and strides in civil rights,” the Blue Book said. “Dunn instituted a kindergarten program for Tennessee children, further reorganized state government, and developed highway construction plans and health programs.”
Earlier this month, Blackburn received a Taxpayer’s Friend award and an A rating of 87 percent from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU).
NTU released the Congressional scorecard for the first session of the 115th Congress: more pro-taxpayer votes were taken and passed in 2017 than in other recent years, and the number of “Taxpayers’ Friend” awards has jumped over the 2016 totals. The results are available here.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.