Never Trump conservatives should vote for good Republicans in 2018

This fall I have the privilege of doing something I haven’t done in more than a decade — cast a ballot in a meaningful and competitive general-election campaign. Tennessee (where I live) is bright red. It has a supermajority Republican state legislature, a Republican governor, a majority-Republican House delegation (only the blue cities have Democratic representatives), and two Republican senators. For a long time, the only truly meaningful vote I cast was in the GOP primary, to determine which Republican would win the general election.

But this time it’s different. The Democrats have recruited an all-star candidate to battle Republican Marsha Blackburn for Bob Corker’s Senate seat. His name is Phil Bredesen, he’s a former two-term governor of Tennessee, and he was wildly popular, winning reelection in 2006 by almost 40 points. He was a good governor, no question. Marsha Blackburn is so Trump-friendly that she actually signed a letter nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Really? Really?) I was a Never Trumper in 2016, and I’ve strongly criticized the president countless times since his election. Unless he has a character transplant, I have no intention of voting for him for president in 2020.

But I’ll happily vote for Marsha Blackburn over Phil Bredesen.