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When Taylor Swift broke her political silence earlier this month to endorse Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen, a U.S. Senate candidate, she surprised a lot of people….including Bredesen himself.
Speaking to Business Insider, Bredesen, the former mayor of Nashville and former governor of Tennessee, says Taylor’s endorsement “came out of the blue. “
“I had no reason to believe she would even know I was running, let alone that she would do this,” he added. While Bredesen says he knew Taylor “very slightly” when he was governor, thanks to an anti-drug initiative they were both involved in, he otherwise had no connection to her, and she never reached out to his campaign to let them know about her endorsement.
“I wish I could claim that it was something I had organized or orchestrated, but it was not,” Bredesen told Business Insider. The 74-year-old candidate credits Taylor for giving him a political boost.
“For somebody who’s on the other side of 70, relating to millennials is not as easy as if you’re Beto O’Rourke or somebody, so I think that really helped me,” he said.
Earlier this month, Taylor encouraged her fans to vote early; on Tuesday, she posted a photo of herself and her mom posing with a Bredesen sign, confirming that they’d voted for him.
“We want leadership, not fear-based extremism,” she captioned the photo. “Early voting goes til Thursday and Election Day is November 6. Please don’t sit this one out.”
The Nashville Tennessean reports that more than a million people have voted early in the midterm election in Tennessee. The turnout has been deemed “historic” — back in 2014, at this same point, only 392,710 people had voted early. It remains to be seen if this was a result of Taylor’s messages to her fans.
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