By Maresa Strano
NASHVILLE, Tennessee: Last week, State Rep. Joe Carr launched his bid to challenge incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander in the 2014 Republican primary. They will square off for their party's nomination on August 7, 2014, which gives Carr just under a year to enact his hope of taking over Alexander's seat in the U.S. Senate.
Carr's announcement directly coincided with a recent tea party offensive against Alexander on account of the senator's recent demonstrations of bipartisanship. Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Alexander is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills. Despite this rating, the provocative and proven influential tea party contingent of the GOP has berated Alexander for his willingness to engage in compromise efforts with other members of congress - including moderates within the GOP and with Democrats, who currently hold the majority in the Senate. Alexander responded to his critics in a op-ed published in a Tennessee newspaper. He explained, "I learned to count in Maryville City Schools. So I know that if you only have 45 votes and you need 60 senators to get something important done like balancing the budget and fixing the debt, then you have to work with other people — that is, IF you really care about solving the problem, IF you really want to get a result, instead of just making a speech."
Alexander has served in the Senate since 2003, having been first elected on November 5, 2002. He was re-elected by in 2008 by a substantial margin, garnering over twice the number of votes than the second place finisher. Prior to becoming a senator, Alexander previously served as the Governor of Tennessee and as the U.S. Secretary of Education.
The general election takes place November 4, 2014.
- ↑ Washington Post, "Lamar Alexander draws primary challenger," accessed August 20, 2013
- ↑ Washington Post, "Republican Lamar Alexander calls out the Tea Party," accessed August 21, 2013
- ↑ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Lamar Alexander," accessed November 4, 2011
- ↑ Lamar Alexander for U.S. Senate 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed July 31, 2013