Senate candidate Phil Bredesen stated his case for why college students should vote for him during his visit to Johnson City Oct. 11.
The former governor arrived to supporters on either side of a walkway as he entered the property known as the Tennessee Victory 2018 field office.
During his brief speech, the candidate discussed his desire to fix the power struggles in Washington, D.C., and thanking his supporters. The candidate also referenced the current controversy over Judge Brett Kavanaugh in his speech, reassuring his supporters that sexual assault allegations is not something he takes lightly.
After wrapping up his speech, the former governor turned Senate candidate sat down with the East Tennessean for an exclusive interview.
Gov. Bredesen spoke about top goal if he is elected as well as why college students should vote for him.
“My biggest goal if I’m elected is really just to figure out how to get the government working again,” he said. “We seem to be stalled at this hyperpartisanship and drawing lines in the sand. When I was mayor of Nashville and governor, I tried to find ways to bring some of these people together and move things down the field.”
According to Bredesen, there has been a power struggle in Washington for the last 10 to 15 years that he hopes to change.
“In politics there is always a component of the power struggle, but it needs to be 25 percent of the equation, not 95 percent. I think if you’re up there and you create an example by looking at issues and not thinking what they do for Democrats or Republicans, but rather the people of Tennessee, then I think you can really help and start to move the needle.”
Bredesen hopes that by having such a mindset in politics, others will follow.
“My dream is that there will be other senators who feel the same,” he said, “and are willing to take a little risk, put a little political capital on the table to try and see if we can’t start trying to change these things.”
For college students, Bredesen believes there are three reasons we should vote for him. The first of these is student loans.
“There are issues I have found college students particularly interested in,” he said. “One is student loans. I proposed a wholesale, kind of a restructuring of the entire student loan program to bring interest rates down so that is more practical and easier to pay off. I’d love to see something where the interest rates are more federal, and the pay back can be anywhere as long as 30 years.”
The second reason Bredesen believes we should vote for him is his stance on net neutrality.
“You’re part of a generation that has grown up with the internet,” he said. “The internet has been a huge generator of entrepreneurialship for smaller businesses, and I’m afraid if you start shutting out or making it more difficult for these businesses and people to have access is really going to damage that.”
Another reason people should vote for him, according to the former governor, is because even though they are young people, they are adults who can relate to the same issues, like buying a home and having a family, that the older generation can.
According to the New York Times live poll on the candidates, Marsha Blackburn is leading with 54 percent while Bredesen is at 40 percent and 6 percent remain undecided.
Early voting takes place Oct. 17- Nov. 1, while Election Day is Nov. 6.