Former Governor Phil Bredesen, the last Democrat to win a statewide election in Tennessee, on Thursday promoted his problem-solving credentials by announcing his candidacy to succeed Republican Bob Corker in the United States Senate.
Bredesen was successful in caring for the entrepreneur before winning the election to two terms each as mayor of Nashville and governor of Tennessee. He won all of the state's counties during his second gubernatorial campaign in 2006, even after eliminating thousands of adults from the state's Medicaid program to help curb rising costs.
"I have the right kind of experience and the real track record that it will be necessary to start working on partisan lines to fix the chaos in Washington and return the common sense to our government," Bredesen said in a video posted on the website of your campaign
Democrats hope that Bredesen can once again challenge the Republican trend in Tennessee, a state that famously denied his favorite son Al Gore the presidency in 2000 by voting for Republican George W. Bush.
"Phil Bredesen is the kind of Democrat who can win in a state like this: he's done it before," said Will Cheek, a lifelong Democratic activist. "I'm not sure he's not the favorite right now."
Corker publicly confronted President Donald Trump before and after he announced in September that he would not seek a third term to represent Tennessee in the Senate. The most important Republicans in the race to succeed him are Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former Rep. Stephen Fincher.
Blackburn, 65, has so far emphasized his close alliance with Trump and has targeted his Republican colleagues in the Senate for not overturning President Barack Obama's medical care law. His campaign quickly criticized Bredesen's candidacy.
"Tennessee families want change and that is not what 74-year-old Democrat Phil Bredesen will bring to the United States Senate," said Blackburn spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. "Bredesen's opinions are out of touch with the values of Tennessee."
Bredesen grew up in the rural area of Shortsville, New York. After his father left home when Bredesen was 7 years old, he and his brother lived with his mother, a bank teller and his grandmother. He attended Harvard with an academic scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in physics in 1
After working as a computer programmer in England, Bredesen in 1975 followed his wife, Andrea Conte, to Nashville, where he had landed a job as a director of nursing. Information services.
Bredesen owed $ 10,000 in 1980 to start HealthAmerica, which purchased and changed problematic HMOs at a time when managed care was in its infancy.
"I was the CEO of a successful public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, one that started at my kitchen table and grew to 6,000 employees," Bredesen said in his video.
After selling the company, Bredesen made unsuccessful offers for mayor and Congress. He won the mayor's job in 1991, after Nashville residents got tired of Bill Boner, who was a harmonica and womanizer. Bredesen's terms were highlighted by attracting Tennessee Titans from the NFL and Nashville Predators, and revitalizing the downtown district.
Bredesen narrowly won the governor's 2002 race to succeed the unpopular Republican Governor Don Sundquist, who spent much of his second term trying unsuccessfully to pass a state income tax to help close an increasing budget gap rising costs of TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program.
Once in office, Bredesen stopped the rising costs of TennCare by cutting 170,000 adults from the program and cutting benefits to thousands more.
"I've never had anything like this in my life," Bredesen said in a 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "I did not apply to tell people that they no longer have medical care."
While those cuts did not hurt Bredesen's re-election bid – he wound up with 95 counties – they became a problem when he was under consideration to become Obama's secretary of health and human services in 2011. That job ended up going to the then Gobernación. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.
"Too many people can not afford health insurance," Bredesen said in Thursday's video. "The Affordable Care Act needs to be fixed."
Bredesen said in the video that his time as governor was marked by having to deal with costs "out of control" in TennCare and then with the crisis of the Great Recession.  "With a lot of difficult options, we managed to do all that," he said. "We not only overcome it, but we also thrive."
Bredesen noted that Tennessee achieved the best bond ratings while bringing large investments to Tennessee. They included Volkswagen's decision to build its first US plant in decades in Chattanooga and Nissan to move its North American headquarters to the Nashville area.