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NASHVILLEBelieve in Service, a political action committee founded by Iraq war combat veteran James Mackler to support federal candidates who will protect and expand vital national service programs, has endorsed Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) in his campaign for U.S. Senate in Tennessee. A longtime public servant, Gov. Bredesen is running against U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who voted to eliminate the Corporation for National & Community Service, including programs like AmeriCorps in October.

“Gov. Phil Bredesen believes in service and will continue to be a passionate advocate for Tennesseans in the U.S. Senate,” said James Mackler. “While the majority in Washington prioritizes serving special interests over service to our nation, we need Gov. Bredesen’s voice in the U.S. Senate to protect and expand our vital national service programs like AmeriCorps that provide so many opportunities for service here and abroad. We’re proud to support his campaign.”

“As I crisscross the state, I am humbled to meet Tennesseans like James Mackler who are deeply committed to serving our nation,” said Gov. Bredesen. “It is an honor to receive the endorsement of Believe in Service, and I look forward to seeing its continued growth and doing my part to support service programs as a United States Senator from Tennessee.”

Unlike Marsha Blackburn, voters do not view national service as a partisan issue. A survey conducted by Republican polling firm TargetPoint found that 83% of voters want Congress to maintain or increase federal spending on national service programs. The strong bipartisan consensus includes support from 78% of Republicans, 84% of Independents and 90% of Democrats. Economists have found that each dollar invested in national service generates $3.95 in terms of higher earnings, increased output and other community benefits.

Earlier this month, President Trump introduced his FY 2019 budget that eliminates AmeriCorps (-$907 million), the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness program (-$1.7 billion), Legal Aid (-$367 million), and a program employing seniors performing community service work (-$400 million).

Believe in Service is working hard to change the majority in the U.S. Senate by holding anti-service extremists like Marsha Blackburn accountable. Of the eight campaigns supported by Believe in Service, seven are running in states that voted for President Trump in 2016.