Nashville Post: Fire fighters, NARAL back Democrat Mackler

By Stephen Elliott

Nashville Post

May 13, 2020

NASHVILLE — With campaigning largely on hold due to the coronavirus, political and labor groups continue a string of endorsements in Tennessee races.

This week, both the Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association and NARAL Pro-Choice America announced their support for Nashville attorney James Mackler, one of the Democrats seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Lamar Alexander.

The executive board of the firefighters association, which represents more than 4,000 emergency workers in the state, picked Mackler unanimously, according to a release. In addition to the Democrats seeking the seat, Republicans Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi are among those facing off in August primary elections.

“Your commitment to supporting the issues important to firefighters made this decision an easy choice for our members,” Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association President Eddie Mitchell said.

The association’s past endorsements have not exclusively favored Democrats. They backed Republicans Bill Lee and Steve Dickerson in recent elections.

The pro-choice group NARAL backed Mackler because he “has been an outspoken champion of reproductive freedom,” said President Ilyse Hogue.

“Tennesseans deserve a leader in the Senate who will stand up to Marsha Blackburn and her Republican colleagues hellbent on denying women their fundamental freedoms,” she added.

The group picked Mackler over two Democratic women seeking the nomination, Marquita Bradshaw and Robin Kimbrough. To date, their candidacies have failed to raise money at the clip demonstrated by Mackler, who was endorsed by Senate Democratic leadership in Washington, D.C.