Singer Taylor Swift got political on Sunday, declaring her support for Tennessee’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Phil Bredesen.
“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, I feel differently about that now,” Swift, who was criticized by some for remaining relatively silent during the 2016 election, wrote in an Instagram post.
Swift said she is backing Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives because she “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.”
While Swift said she would like to continue voting for women, she wrote Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s voting record “appalls and terrifies me.”
She criticized Blackburn, Bredesen’s rival in the Senate race, for opposing equal pay for women and gay marriage, for supporting businesses that refuse to serve gays, and for voting against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which protects women from domestic violence.
“These are not MY Tennessee values,” Swift wrote.
Ironically, Blackburn held a political fundraiser at a Taylor Swift concert in 2015, the Tennessean reported at the time.
Bredesen, who served as governor of Tennessee from 2003 to 2011, was thrilled with the boost. “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,” he said in a tweet.
Swift ended her message with a plea. “Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. We may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100 percent on every issue, but we have to vote anyway,” she wrote.
Nearly 400,000 fans had read the message by late Sunday.
According to a CBS News/YouGov poll published Sunday, Blackburn is currently leading Bredesen by eight points. The two are running for the seat held by outgoing GOP Senator Bob Corker.
Many fans on Twitter seemed thrilled by Swift’s bold move. Others were furious.