Who Will Challenge Corker?

If Tennesseans are smart – and we are – we will oust Corker from the Senate and replace him with a reliable, true, tax reforming, Obamacare repealing, Second Amendment protecting, military supporting Republican in the 2018 Senate election.

Sadly, Corker has proved to be none of those.

Sure when Obama was president he voted for repealing Obamacare. He mouthed off about defense and said he was for tax cuts. But when the opportunity came to do something about it, he choked.

In a June poll by The Tennessee Star via Triton Polling and Research, Corker was already doing poorly. When asked “As of now, do you think Bob Corker deserves re-election or is it time to give someone else a chance? ” only 41.1 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Tennessee said he “deserves re-election.”

An equal number, 41.6 percent, said “give someone else a chance.”

And that was before his recent comments in Chattanooga when he questioned Trump, saying, “He also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation. He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today. And he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that. Without the things I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril.”

Funny, he didn’t criticize Obama’s remarks – or failure thereof – in the Fort Hood massacre and Dallas police shootings.

Remember, Corker was one of those Republicans who didn’t think Trump had a chance at winning the election. Most of us would pause and reconsider our acumen after that misjudgment, but not whiny Bob.

Or we would look at the insurance statistics in our state and see that 77 percent of counties have just one insurer, and the average premium increase is 63 percent over the past year. The average monthly insurance premium in Tennessee in 2013 was $213. In 2017, it was $587, an increase of 176 percent. That might scream for repeal to the average citizen, but not the senator going up for a third term.

So who on our side will rid us of this meddlesome legislator?

The Tennessee Star suggests Marsha Blackburn might. According to their poll she beats him in Middle and West Tennessee. However, she has not indicated that she will run. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! It’s time. Grab the brass ring.

Others include Mayor Tim Burchett of Knox County. The Tennessee Star says, “Burchett is a proven vote-getter who is term limited from seeking reelection to his current position. A former State Senator and two term County Mayor, Burchett always seems to exceed expectations and has great personal appeal. He has the largest political base of any of the potential candidates other than Blackburn, and the East Tennessee factor should not be underestimated.”

Then there is Joe Carr. He has challenged Lamar Alexander and Congresswoman Diane Black and failed in low turnout elections. But Black wants to be governor, so he might go for that House post instead of a Senate one. He’s a strong conservative, but lacks funds.

State Senator Mark Green considered running for governor, but then was nominated by Trump to be Secretary of the Army. He ran into turbulence because of some gay criticisms and dropped out. Word is he may go for Blackburn’s seat if she runs for Corker’s. The Tennessee Star says, “With a head-to-head race, and the financial resources available to Green in a Senate challenge, he would have a good shot at winning, or getting close enough to mount an almost immediate campaign for the Alexander seat with an organization in place, much higher name recognition than he has today, and with the wind at his back.”

They also say “West Tennessee conservative State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) is considering challenging Corker based on the polling data that shows him vulnerable, particularly in West Tennessee. Lack of statewide name recognition and funding would make Holt a very long shot to run or win. But if others higher up the list all choose to stay on the sidelines, Holt could put himself in the game.

“A strong Second Amendment advocate and pig farmer, Holt would appeal to the West Tennessee conservative Tea Party base but without funding to broaden that base, particularly in other regions of the state, Holt may look to other political opportunities closer to home in the near term.”

The Tennessee Star also finds, “Americans for Prosperity State Director Andrew Ogles is a formidable conservative policy and political leader who has the grassroots base of AFP at his disposal should he run. He also has a pretty compelling story to tell and could represent a new generation of leadership in challenging Corker. He does not have a federal campaign war chest at his disposal like Blackburn, or the self funding capability of Green to kickstart a campaign, so funding would be his first hurdle.”

Let’s hope somebody steps up. Corker has become increasingly disengaged from his base. Maybe he’s had too many foreign trips where flattery has poured into his ear and turned his head away from the Volunteer State. I can’t think of any accomplishment he’s done. If you look on his Facebook page it is topped with his “End Slavery Initiative” that deals with worldwide human trafficking. Nice, but not exactly getting jobs, companies and health care problems solved for us.

It appears that any one of these contenders would help drain the swamp. Bob’s just put a cork in it instead.

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