Tennessee senator launches tour as he mulls statewide bid

Friday, November 11, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 46

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Sen. Mark Green is launching a 60-day tour as the Clarksville Republican considers a bid for statewide office in Tennessee.

Green was re-elected to a second four-year term in the state Senate last week. He said Monday that the election of Republican Donald Trump as president showed a deep frustration among voters.

Green has dubbed his tour "Tennessee Next." While he doesn't say specifically what the objective is, Green has not been shy about considering a bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

But the presidential election could throw a complicating factor into the next election cycle in Tennessee if Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is selected for a position in the Trump administration. If so, candidates who previously considered gubernatorial bids might instead run for Senate.

Green also lives in the congressional district that Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has represented since 2002. Blackburn has been named to Trump's transition team and could be under consideration for a post in his incoming administration.

"The frustration of voters is unmistakable and the election of Donald Trump as President is a clear message to the permanent political class," Green said in a release. "The only way to begin cleaning up the mess of poll-driven politics is to start listening directly to those we represent.

Green has so far scheduled 16 stops from Kingsport to Memphis until Jan. 10, which is the first day of the legislative session.

Other Republicans considering gubernatorial bids in 2018 include U.S. Rep. Diane Black, House Speaker Beth Harwell, businessman Bill Lee, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and state economic development chief Randy Boyd and his predecessor Bill Hagerty.