For Immediate Release: July 27, 2020

NASHVILLE – Decorated Iraq War veteran James Mackler, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, marked 100 days until Election Day by casting his primary absentee ballot in a continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect Tennesseans. 

“Leaders put the health and safety of those they serve ahead of their own personal political gain,” said James, who closed his law practice after 9/11 and volunteered for the U.S. Army, serving as a Screaming Eagle in the 101st Airborne Division. “Yesterday, I cast my ballot safely at home as all voters are eligible to do in the August election and I’m asking all Tennesseans to let me serve again in a new crisis. There’s a perfect storm for change gathering across Tennessee and over the next 99 days, voters will have a choice between a combat veteran who stepped up to serve after 9/11 and is asking to serve again, or a rubber stamp for the very people that have made Tennessee the leader in rural hospital closures per person, ignored the opioid epidemic, conducted a trade war that hurt our economy more than any other state, and have mishandled the pandemic response with deadly consequences.” 

James’ decision to cast a mail ballot stands in stark contrast to leading Republican candidates Bill Hagerty and Dr. Manny Sethi, who, ignoring Davidson County law, voted in-person without a mask. On Friday, Hagerty and Sethi both transmitted themselves across Tennessee holding several indoor, in-person events with high profile surrogates by their sides (and few masks). When asked whether he thought one such event was safe, Dr. Sethi responded yes.

Hagerty, a member of the White House COVID Task Force and an employee of a company that received an emergency PPP loan, repeatedly called for the Republican National Convention to relocate to Nashville. On June 9, as Hagerty said hosting the widely attended event in a pandemic in Nashville would be “an honor of a lifetime,” the Tennessean ran a headline reporting, “Tennessee coronavirus infections hit new peak, hospitalizations are on the rise.” 

Since the beginning of the outbreak Tennessee has reported 93,936 COVID-19 cases and 967 deaths related to the virus, including 3,140 new cases yesterday, the second highest daily new case total Tennessee has reported. Tennessee is currently experiencing more new cases per day per million than any other country in the world.

Since launching his campaign at a closed rural hospital in McKenzie, Tennessee, James Mackler has earned support from the DSCC, Tennessee AFL-CIO, Tennessee Fire Fighters, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL, Vote Vets, Serve America, Let America Vote, End Citizens United, Giffords PAC, Gov. Phil Bredesen, Minority Leader Karen Camper, and thousands of Tennesseans in all 95 counties

James Mackler joined the U.S. Army after 9/11 to do more and serve in a time of crisis, serving in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot as a Screaming Eagle in the 101st Airborne Division. He later protected sexual assault survivors and prosecuted criminals as a U.S. Army JAG attorney. James is running for U.S. Senate for the same reasons he joined the army — to do more and serve all Tennesseans in a time of crisis.