In Decision 2014, it is a Republican Primary with many hotly-contested races. One lured two-term US Senator Lamar Alexander to town for a campaign stop at the Brainerd Road Rib & Loin Tuesday evening.
Alexander faces six challengers in the August vote with State Representative Joe Carr thought to be the strongest among them. A group of Carr campaigners set up camp in the adjacent parking lot, trying to make their voices heard. "We are here because Lamar Alexander won't answer our questions," said Michael Patrick Leahy, co-founder of the 'Beat Lamar' group. "He won't debate Joe Carr. He voted 'yes' on amnesty and won't explain why. He said we could walk down the street and just ask him a question. Well, we walked down the street and he's ignoring us."
Senator Alexander's event was private, featuring popular local Republicans like County Mayor Jim Coppinger and his predecessor, Claude Ramsey.
Alexander told his supporters he believes Republicans will take control of the senate and he wants to be a part of that. He added, if that happens, he believes their post-midterm mission should be to replace 'Obamacare', reverse the trend toward a national school board. fix the debt, and make it easier to find a job.
After his remarks, Alexander spoke to Channel 3 about the claims from the Carr campaign. "Last year, Senator Corker and I voted to stop perpetual amnesty," he said, "which is what we have for about 11 million illegal people here in the country. We voted to double border security. If that bill had passed, the border would be more secure today than it was a year ago."
Early voting is underway in Tennessee with the vote scheduled for August 7th.