NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – In her first local television interview since announcing a run for the U.S. Senate, Marsha Blackburn said she’s standing with President Trump on most issues while maintaining an independent streak.
The Middle Tennessee U.S. House member–who likes to be called “Congressman”–will be giving up her seat next year while she hopes to win the U.S. Senate, but she’ll be pulling double duty as a lawmaker and a candidate.
“I do have a full plate, but I am energized by it,” she told News 2 on Friday. “Fortunately, I don’t sleep a lot.”
The Senate seat is currently by fellow Republican Party member Bob Corker, who earlier this year said the White House was an “adult daycare,” while also questioning President Trump’s stability on some issues.
Blackburn–who made early 2015 campaign appearances with Mr. Trump– has not traveled that critical path with the president whose strong support in Tennessee has declined some recently according to recent polls.
“I stand with him when it comes to repealing the Affordable Care Act. I stand with him when it comes to getting taxes done. I stand with him when it comes to dealing with these “sanctuary cities”– passing my CLEAR Act and securing the southern border,” added Blackburn. “A lot of Tennesseans will say ‘I don’t like him personally’ or maybe ‘I did not vote for him’, but I like what is happening with the economy.”
Yet, Blackburn says she maintains an independent streak.
“You know very well, as do a lot of my constituents that I have always been a pretty independent actor and there are times i have stood against my party, and times with my party,” added the congressman.
One of the issues she will likely be talking about on the campaign trail and in Washington is the continuing issue of bringing high speed internet and broadband to areas underserved which includes many of Tennessee’s rural areas.
“Its the number one infrastructure issue in our state,” she added but why now does Blackburn feel its her time to move up to the U.S. Senate?
“I think this is a good time with the issues facing our nation–like health care and interactive technology,” added Blackburn. “That is an area where I have been recognized by different groups and organizations for my leadership.”
Blackburn says she “can have a greater impact in those areas.”
The lawmaker says she made one promise in going to Washington in 2003 as a Representative and that was to deduct the sales tax from federal tax returns “and that I did.”
Blackburn says the allowance which will stay up to $10,000 for a deduction in the new tax bill has been worth “more than a billion dollars yearly” in the pockets of Tennesseans.
She also cites work with songwriters to ease their tax burden.
The congressman will have former west Congressman Stephen Fincher as her Republican Primary opponent.
The landscape changed last week for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate seat.
Former Governor Phil Bredesen joined the race while Nashville lawyer James Mackler dropped out and later endorsed Bredesen.