Taylor Swift might have a home in Rhode Island, but she says she’ll be casting her vote in Tennessee for the midterm elections on Nov. 6 — and has decided to endorse two Democratic candidates there.
In an Instagram post on Sunday night, the pop singer said she would be voting for former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen for US Senate, and US Representative Jim Cooper for the Fifth Congressional District.
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈
Bredesen is ensnared in a tough contest with US Representative Marsha Blackburn, a Trump-aligned conservative Republican. The moderate Democrat also announced Friday that he would support Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court — something that Swift chose not to directly address in her post.
“For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway,” Swift said, perhaps in a nod to Bredesen’s stance on Kavanaugh.
Swift said that although she “would like to continue voting for women in office,” she could not support Blackburn.
“Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” Swift said, citing Blackburn’s votes against protecting the rights of women and LGBTQ people. “These are not MY Tennessee values.”
The Washington Post describes Bredesen as “a popular former governor running on a moderate platform and a deep well of goodwill from his eight years in office” and reports that GOP strategists have been “frustrated that Blackburn has not established a comfortable lead” in the race to replace retiring Senator Bob Corker.
Swift wrote that while she has been reluctant to voice her political opinions in the past, she decided to wade into the conversation “due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years.”
She also encouraged her followers to register to vote, noting that Oct. 9 is the last day to register to vote in Tennessee.
Bredesen, for his part, tweeted his gratitude to Swift for her endorsement.
Thank you for the kind words @taylorswift13. I’m honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done. We’re ready for it. Last day to register to vote is October 9. https://t.co/6Xd6YyaJCG pic.twitter.com/CatUBkXPKe— Phil Bredesen (@PhilBredesen) October 8, 2018
Cooper, who was elected in 2002, represents a district that includes the city of Nashville. He is currently fending off a challenge from Republican Jody Ball. (For context, the district went for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a margin of 18.2 points, according to The Washington Post.)