Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Lamar Alexander Draws GOP Primary Opponent in Senate Race | #TNSEN

Alexander has a new challenger. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Joe Carr, a conservative Republican who has been running against embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday that he will switch gears to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., instead.

Carr is the first Republican to announce a primary challenge to Alexander, who has received fierce backlash from some tea party groups for his work with his Democratic colleagues.

Local tea party activists are currently vetting other potential Alexander challengers — a process they say will begin this month. Other potential GOP primary challengers include Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and former Williamson County Chairman Kevin Kookogey, according to the Tennessean.

Until Tuesday morning, Carr was running in the Republican primary against DesJarlais and state Sen. Jim Tracy.

Unseating Alexander will be an uphill battle for Carr, who enters the primary with a severe disadvantage on the fundraising front. Carr had $275,000 in cash on hand at the end of the second quarter, compared with Alexander’s $3.1 million.

Carr had trouble raising a significant amount of money in his primary challenge to DesJarlais. The congressman has been dogged by revelations stemming from a past divorce proceeding that alleges he had affairs with patients and co-workers and he coerced his wife and a former mistress into having abortions.

Tracy outraised Carr and DesJarlais by hundreds of thousands of dollars in the second quarter.

The Tennessee Senate race is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • truthseeker53

    Alexander is a RINO. His vote to install blue area anti-Constitution, anti-anything good Sotamayor onto the Supreme court is the first thing that comes to mind whenever his name comes up. He and Corker both are two sure enough mistakes.

  • dinthecenter

    But then, I guess Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower and a whole host of people who led the Republican Party for generations were RINOs too. The problem, of course, is that people who cannot compromise cannot govern. Democracy is about people of divergent beliefs finding a place they can meet. Without such compromise there would be no United States, since people like Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Hamilton, et al., surely didn’t have enough agreement to work as ideological purists.

  • poptoy1949

    Great news. Hope a Tea party person whips his butt in the primary and goes on to win hands down. YEE_HAAAAA

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