Koch network to back Blackburn even if Corker decides to run

Koch network to back Blackburn even if Corker decides to run
© Greg Nash

The conservative donor network led by billionaires David and Charles Koch intends to back Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Lawmakers split over how to expand rural broadband MORE (R) in Tennessee's Senate Republican primary even if Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials McConnell calls for Senate hearings on Russia sanctions MORE (R) reverses his decision to retire, according to Buzzfeed News.

"Marsha Blackburn has been a committed champion for policies that will expand opportunity for all Americans and help people improve their lives," Koch network spokesman James Davis said in a statement Tuesday to BuzzFeed.

The statement follows reports on Monday that Corker, who announced in September that he would retire after this term, is reconsidering that decision.

Blackburn announced her bid for the Senate seat after Corker made his retirement plans.

But reports yesterday claimed Republicans have doubts that Blackburn, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, could win the general election against the Democratic front-runner, former Gov. Phil Bredesen. GOP leaders are reportedly encouraging Corker to reconsider and run again.

The Koch network is already supporting Blackburn in the primary, a rare move for the group. Last month, she was a featured speaker at the group’s annual retreat.

The Blackburn campaign has hit back at those expressing doubts that Blackburn could win the general election.

“Anyone who thinks Marsha Blackburn can’t win a general election is just a plain sexist pig,” Blackburn campaign spokeswoman Andrea Bozek told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

Blackburn’s campaign raised more than $2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, outraising her main GOP opponent by more than $500,000. She ended 2017 with $4.6 million cash on hand.