President Trump returning to Tennessee for Blackburn Senate fundraiser

President Donald Trump introduces Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., at a rally Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — President Donald Trump announced Monday he is returning to Tennessee for another fundraiser to boost Republican Marsha Blackburn in her tough U.S. Senate race, as well as hold a rally for his supporters.

An invitation says the event will be next Monday in Johnson City. Tickets cost $10,000 per couple, including a photo with Trump; or $25,000 a couple, including the photo and a roundtable with Trump. Contributions will fuel Blackburn’s joint fundraising committee.

“President Trump so appreciates the people of Tennessee, and we look forward to welcoming him back to our state and having him on the campaign trail with Team Marsha,” said Abbi Sigler, campaign spokeswoman, in a statement.

Trump will also hold a campaign-style rally during his visit in the area.

The congresswoman’s contest is drawing heavy interest from the White House. Vice President Mike Pence has attended two Tennessee fundraisers and two public events with Blackburn, including appearances last week in Knoxville. Trump headlined a Nashville fundraiser and rally with her in May.

Blackburn faces Democratic ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen, who says he’s an independent thinker and would support or oppose Trump based on how his ideas impact Tennessee.

Bredesen’s campaign has since said the Democrat will be in Chattanooga next Monday, pointing out that Blackburn’s campaign turned down an opportunity earlier this year to debate Bredesen in the southeast Tennessee city — which was scheduled the same day Trump will campaign for Blackburn.