This weekend campaign manager Clare Considine and I traveled to Nashville to interact with statewide Democratic leaders there. My wife Natalie also traveled with me and honed her campaigning skills.
I learned a lot at the Bredesen for Senate campaign launch event. For example, the number of Republicans in Tennessee is about the same as it was 15 years ago, but the number of Democrats has dropped. It seems that many people who once considered themselves as Democrats now see themselves as Independents. I was an independent myself until several months ago, so I’ll definitely be able to relate to these voters.
A recent poll of Tennessee voters shows significant dissatisfaction with the hyper-partisanship that is common at present. Voters want candidates who look for solutions, not officeholders who are engaged in perpetual bickering. Solutions to problems are acceptable from all areas of the political spectrum as opposed to the rigid adherence to party positions that are usually seen.
The polls confirm that healthcare, education and jobs/the economy remain the most important issues for likely voters. It seems to me that healthcare is the issue with the most flux at present, and my continuing role as a practicing physician makes me uniquely qualified to address the healthcare needs of the First District.
Voters have interest in national issues but they also have concerns about local issues. I have visited communities throughout the district and look forward to many future visits to learn even more about the concerns of citizens in TN District 1.
Clare and I had many conversations with leaders in both the Bredesen for Senate campaign and the Karl Dean for Governor campaign. Tennessee was once a blue state, then it became a purple state, then it became a red state but there is reason to believe that it is on its way to becoming a purple state again. This is an exciting time to be a candidate; I am pleased with the opportunity to give the everyday Americans of the First District a real choice this November. Voters will decide whether to continue the same tired path of the last many years or whether to select a new path of hope and opportunity for all citizens of TN District 1.