Lamar Alexander

Politics
5:22 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Tennessee Senate Hopefuls Meet in Lone Joint Forum

Republican Lamar Alexander and Democrat Gordon Ball are scheduled to make their first and only joint appearance of Tennessee's U.S. Senate race in Cookeville on Thursday. The one hour forum hosted by the Farm Bureau is taking place at Tennessee Tech University.

Ball has criticized Alexander for refusing to hold a series of debates around the state leading up to the election.

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Politics
8:58 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Sen. Lamar Alexander Overcomes Tea Party Challenge

Sen. Lamar Alexander after an Aug. 5 campaign stop in a restaurant in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. The Tennessee senator won his GOP primary race Thursday.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 8:45 am

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander defeated state Rep. Joe Carr on Thursday, marking the close of a winless Senate primary season for Tea Party groups that hoped to unseat a longtime Republican incumbent.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press called the race for Alexander, the last veteran GOP senator facing a credible Tea Party-backed primary challenge this year. He won 50 percent to 40 percent for Carr.

George Flinn, a self-funding radiologist from Memphis, captured 5 percent, while four other little-known candidates captured the rest of the vote.

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Politics
1:32 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Lamar Alexander Shows Little Interest in Debates

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander is showing little interest in taking up Joe Carr on a debate challenge in advance of the Republican Senate primary in August.

Alexander told reporters in Nashville on Monday that there are seven candidates running for the GOP nomination and that it would be difficult to schedule them all to appear at once.

Among the challengers, only Carr and Memphis radio station owner George Flinn have shown significant past campaign spending.  Alexander wouldn't say whether he would insist on debating all of the candidates.

Alexander, a former two-term Tennessee governor, is running for a third term in the Senate this year. He said voters could find out about him on his website. Or, in his words: "Usually I'm walking down the street and they can ask me."

Regional
2:03 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Tenn. Democratic Senate Candidate To Spend $400K on Ads

Gordon Ball
Credit Courtesy

U.S. Senate candidate Gordon Ball says he is pouring up to $400,000 of his own money into a statewide television advertising campaign to bolster his bid for the Democratic nomination.

Ball, a Knoxville attorney, told reporters in Nashville on Friday that he will emphasize his moderate political leanings, which he said stand in contrast with what he called the more liberal position of his chief rival Terry Adams.

Ball, who estimated his net worth as between $10 million and $20 million, said he plans to self-fund much of his Senate campaign.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is running for a third term this year. His chief campaign adviser, Tom Ingram, is shrugging off any Tennessee implications of the surprise GOP primary defeat this week of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia.

Politics
12:59 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

GOP Senator Alexander Opposes U.S. Strike on Syria

Lamar Alexander, R-TN
Credit alexander.senate.gov

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander says he will oppose a measure authorizing U.S. military force against Syria.

The Tennessee lawmaker said on Monday that a strike carries too much risk and could set off a series of events leading to greater U.S. involvement in another long-term Mideast war. He warned about the uncertainty in agreeing to President Barack Obama's request for military intervention after last month's deadly chemical weapons attack.

Alexander was announcing his position at a speech in Nashville. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of his remarks.

The senator has participated by telephone in briefings with senior administration officials and spoke this past weekend with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Alexander's Tennessee colleague, Sen. Bob Corker, collaborated with Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez in writing the resolution authorizing U.S. force.

Politics
6:00 am
Sat August 17, 2013

In Tennessee, Talk of a Possible Tea Party Challenge Against Alexander

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Tennessee Tea Party activists are actively vetting potential candidates who would challenge Republican Senator Lamar Alexander from the right.

Later this month, those wanting to take on Alexander in next year’s GOP primary will address tea party activists in Nashville. The Tennessean reports that Nashville Tea Party President Ben Cunningham says a “very serious process” is underway to find a consensus Tea Party challenger to take on Alexander in 2014.

It’s the latest example of the Tea Party challenging GOP incumbents it believes are not sufficiently conservative. The tactic has backfired in some states, including Indiana, where the Tea Party-backed Richard Mourdock knocked off longtime Republican moderate Richard Lugar in the 2012 primary, only to lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the general election later that year.

Some potential Tea Party challengers to Alexander are former GOP state representative and senator Tim Burchett, former chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party Kevin Kookogey, and Brenda Lenard, who ran an unsuccessful campaign against Republican Sen. Bob Corker last year.

Politics
9:28 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Alexander Flexes Fundraising Muscles

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander's reelection campaign announced four upcoming fundraising events that he predicted would add more than $3 million to his $1 million war chest. Politico is reporting observers see the announcement as a way to scare off would-be conservative primary challengers.

Fellow Republican Tennessee Senator Bob Corker will host the first fundraiser at his house in Chattanooga in April. The others will be in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis. The 72-year-old Alexander, who is seeking his third term, has been seeking out so-called "bundlers". Ten supporters have already agreed to raise $100,000. The campaign is trying to get 25 others to agree to bring in at least $50,000.

Alexander has been aggressive about shoring up support early. In December he named five Republicans in the House delegation, Governor Bill Haslam and Speaker Beth Harwell as co-chairmen.

Politics
1:55 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Sen. Alexander: Feds and State Should Swap Medicaid for Education

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander is proposing a "grand swap" in which the federal government would take over all responsibility for Medicaid and the states would gain all control over education.

The senator said in an address to a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday that the proposal mirrors one he made to President Ronald Reagan three decades ago while Alexander was Tennessee governor.  Alexander said Reagan embraced the idea, but it did not gain any traction in Congress.

Alexander told reporters after the speech that he see similar barriers to his proposal amid Democratic control of the Senate and the presidency, but said the change would remove the concerns and political challenges facing the states on expanding Medicaid or creating state insurance exchanges.

Politics
12:16 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Alexander: Senate Should Not Change Filibuster Rules

Tennessee’s senior U.S. Senator is speaking out against proposed changes to the filibuster. Republican Lamar Alexander says efforts to limit filibusters would cost the Senate its historic function as a brake on legislation that otherwise might be rushed through the chamber.

The 72-year-old Alexander tells The Tennessean says without the filibuster the Senate would become “just like the House”, where a simple majority vote would win each time. When a Senator engages in a filibuster, it takes 60 votes to bring it to an end, so that the legislation in question can be considered for a vote.

Some Democrats are talking openly about changing Senate rules in January that would allow a simple majority vote to change the filibuster policy, as opposed to the 67 votes that have been the standard.

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