Bredesen could be nation’s richest U.S. senator if elected

Democrat Phil Bredesen would become one of the wealthiest members in Congress if the former Tennessee governor is elected to the U.S. Senate, according to financial disclosures filed Friday and compared to Roll Call’s most recent report on the wealth of current members of the U.S. House and Senate.

From the Times Free Press:

Bredesen’s disclosures… show the businessman had assets and income of between $92.2 million to $378 million … the bulk of that was in investments and other assets, which totaled between $88.9 million and $358 million. He reported income of between $3.3 million and $20.1 million.

He reported his liabilities at less than $10,000. The report covers the period from January 2017 through February of 2018.  It’s the former governor’s first disclosure since announcing in December that he is running for the seat held by retiring Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is running in the GOP primary along with two less well-known Republicans. Her 2016 disclosure, filed with the House, shows she could have a negative net worth.

Blackburn reported between $168,000 and $520,000 in assets as well as $4,600 from the former state senator’s legislative pension. She and her husband, Chuck Blackburn, had debts ranging from $400,000 and $850,000, all from mortgages. The report doesn’t disclose Chuck Blackburn’s income.

…As governor, Bredesen, who was already a multi-millionaire, routinely released the first top pages of his income tax returns. He told reporters he doesn’t intend to in this race.

“I actually think this is much more comprehensive than the income tax returns,” he said of the Senate disclosure. “I’m doing what the law requires.”

Among other things, they show that Bredesen, who donated his annual salary to charitable groups while governor, is receiving an annual state pension of $110,908. He explained he decided to collect the pension because he had to pay taxes on his salary.

Bredesen owns stock and remains chairman of Silicon Ranch Corp., a solar energy provider that was started by two former top aides with his backing. Bredesen in 2017 held between $25,000,001 and $50 million in the non-publicly traded company’s stock.

Note: The Roll Call listing of congressional members wealth is HERE.  Using minimum assets ($92.2 million for Bredesen) as the standard, it appears the Tennessee Democratic candidate would be just ahead of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) who reported $90.2 million and thus become the wealthiest senator if elected and things otherwise remained unchanged. Six U.S. House members are listed higher than either Warner or Bredesen.

Diane Black, currently running for governor, comes in 14th in the overall Roll Call listing and higher than any other Tennessean in Congress,  followed by Corker at 25th. Blackburn – at 473 – is the lowest ranking member of the Tennessee delegation.

Further from The Tennessean:

Despite his wealth, Bredesen pushed back against any suggestion that he would be trying to buy the U.S. Senate seat.

“I think the public is vastly smarter than that. Over my years in public life I have on occasion funded my own campaigns and on occasion raised money. The difference between the two is I have always lost the ones that I funded myself.”

Bredesen said he currently does not plan on contributing to his campaign but did not discount the possibility in the future.

“For cash flow purposes I’m perfectly willing to lend money to the campaign,” he said.

As he said when he entered the race, Bredesen estimated it could cost as much as $50 million to win the election, including $17 million to $20 million in contributions and an additional $30 million for independent expenditures.

“It’s an absurd number,” he said. “But that’s the state of it today. And I’m in it to win.”

9 Responses to Bredesen could be nation’s richest U.S. senator if elected

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    Eddie White says:

    Bredesen certainly qualifies to run for statewide office, he is rich.

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    Eddie White says:

    I am certainly glad he is taking that state pension. I am sure that helps with groceries.

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    Susan E Gingrich says:

    Just what we need another rich man deciding what is best for taxpayers. Taxpayers at all levels of government are the true victims of American society.

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    cjmcd says:

    Just think how much richer he cab become while listening to the likes of pelosi and schumer. As much money as they will dump into the bredessen race will let him know just how much your investments can grow when you are writing the laws that govern them. Mr. bredessen will become a big boy when he starts running with these guys, and he will become just like the rest of those globalists thieves. And, I liked him when he was governor.

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    Tommy Ray Mc Anally says:

    People WHY would you elect a person (PHIL BREDESEN OR MARSHALL BLACKBURN) with this kind of WEALTH? Write somebody in at the ballot box on Election Day. People, Philp Bredesen or Marshall Blackburn ain’t FOR the MIDDLE CLASS and LOWER GUARANTEE they think and vote the same. WAKE UP. People write in a POOR PERSON. Also, when is anybody that is running for office going to SLAM THE ILLEGALS other than ME? Also, ANYBODY BUT JUDD MATHENY FOR CONGRESS.

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    William Upton says:

    A democrat chairman of a “solar energy provider” wanting to be in Congress. I wonder where his loyalty and interests would lie? I’m sure his company wouldn’t benefit greatly from his influence. I just have a feeling he would be even richer when he left office. We’re getting rid of Corker, let’s try to do better!

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    James Calloway says:

    Bredesen got elected before with the help of a lot of Republican votes. This isn’t way back when. He’ll not get those votes this time and he knows it.

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    Betty gentry says:

    He will make a great senator. He moved Tennessee forward without debt and created over 200k jobs. As mayor of Nashville he left a surplus for he replacement, brought jobs and worked with republicans to do what what was best for the people of Nashville. He will do the same in Washington on and he was rich then also.

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    Brian Daniels says:

    Bredeson was a very good Mayor of Nashville and an even better Governor. I’ve met him twice and he has always been plain spoken and open about what he is trying to do for TN. I’m backing him for his race for Senator and I can only hope that more people will do the same.

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