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WTVC: Tennessee’s Senate race shows an early favorite to emerge from the Democratic party

WTVC: Tennessee’s Senate race shows an early favorite to emerge from the Democratic party

By Sam Luther

WTVC

August 3, 2020

In Tennessee, it’s an uphill battle for anyone running for a statewide office in this red state.

Taking on the task in this year’s U.S. Senate race are five candidates. Although each of them hope to become the first democratic Senator in Tennessee since Jim Sasser’s reelection in 1988, only one of them will win the nomination.

So far, the early frontrunner has been former Army veteran and Tennessee National Guardsmen James Mackler.

Mackler has managed to gain a significant amount of social media traction compared to his opponents.

Right now he sits at nearly 20,000 Twitter followers and over 9,000 thousand Facebook likes. For Twitter that’s more than five times the amount of followers than the next closest candidate. For Facebook, that’s nearly eight times the amount of followers.

The difference is many most evident in the finances. Mackler has raised over $2 million in total contributions. The next closest candidate is around 36 thousand dollars.

Mackler attributes this large gap to his hard working team.

“That’s a result of my getting into this race early, traveling the state, meeting folks, and learning what they need and aren’t getting from Washington.”

Although Mackler has a massive funding lead on the Democratic side of things, across the aisle top funded Republican candidate Bill Hagerty has raised nearly $6 million.

Mackler says, “I’m not in the least bit intimidated.”

The difference on social media and funding is undeniably in Macklers favor thus far, but the other remaining candidates are looking to represent the Democratic party and come with a various backgrounds.

Marquita Bradshaw is a longtime environmental and social justice activist.

Robin Kimbrough Hayes has a masters from Vanderbilt, and has tried cases as the Assistant US Attorney.

Mark Pickrell is a businessman, and has practiced law in Nashville after earning an undergrad degree from Harvard.

Gary Davis does not have any campaign website or social media presence, but has been running for office since 2002 and has never gotten more than 21% of the vote.

The primaries will be held on August 6th with election day falling on November 3rd.