By Cillea Houghton
NASHVILLE, TN — Phil Bredesen has opened an office in North Nashville for his campaign for the U.S. Senate. The new location is at 1209 Jefferson St. where he shares the space with State Rep. Harold Love Jr.’s campaign headquarters.
Bredesen was mayor of Nashville for eight years before serving for two terms as Governor of Tennessee. He is running against Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn in the race for the Tennessee Senate seat. “We’re really putting a lot of effort into this idea of grassroots organizing,” Bredesen said. “North Nashville has always been important to me when I was mayor and governor. We felt like we wanted to have an office on Jefferson St. that people could get to easily. There’s a lot of doors to be knocked on within walking distance of here.”
Bredesen has 16 offices across the state in locations that are “accessible” to different communities, he said. He has three locations across Nashville in the Southeast and northern regions and on West End. Love said the Jefferson St. location allows Bredesen to see the significant contributions the area makes to the city through Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University, among others. “We have a great base of support in this area that we can reach out to…We have so many jewels here, it’s good to have Gov. Bredesen here to see what investment we made in this community from an electoral standpoint,” Love said. “We all know what he’s done for our city, and our country’s in such a place where we need someone who’s going to go up there and be a good voice of reason, who’s going to make sense, work on issues of education, our economy, someone who’s going to work on healthcare. We know that when we look for someone who’s going to lead us in that right direction, there’s no better choice.”
Bredesen cites healthcare as an issue he’s especially focused on. During his tenure as governor, Bredesen helped fix TennCare and established Cover Tennessee that offered coverage for citizens who were uninsured and had preexisting conditions. He also established HealthAmerica Corp. before taking office as Nashville mayor. “There’s a number of issues, but one that is particular interest to me is healthcare. It’s the field I was in before I ran for office. I spent a lot of time as governor working on different aspects of it,” he said. “The Affordable Care Act I don’t think is the long-term solution to all of our problems, but this idea that up there the people that are doing it are trying to sabotage it and leave people without care, without coverage, I think is awful. One thing I’d love to do is get that stabilized and finally we can have a discussion of what everything ought to be in the long run. In the meantime, let’s take care of some people.”
Bredesen has campaign offices in 14 towns across Tennessee.