Democratic U.S. Senate candidate asks for new election - WKRN News 2

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate asks for new election

Posted: Updated: Aug 7, 2012 06:08 PM
Larry Crim Larry Crim
Mark Clayton Mark Clayton

Larry Crim lost the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination to Mark Clayton in last week's election and is now asking the state to throw out the results.

The Tennessee Democratic Party disavowed Clayton last week, citing Clayton's ties to a Washington D.C. hate group.

Crim finished fourth out of seven candidates in Thursday's Democratic primary, but Crim is asking for a new primary election to be held.

"I highly resent him inserting himself improperly in the Democratic primary process," said Crim. "It cheapens every other serious candidate's campaigns, including mine."

Crim told Nashville's News 2 he took his race for U.S. Senate seriously, campaigning all over the state, spending thousands of dollars trying to get his name out there.

"The fault of why he was on the ballot is not our fault as candidates," said Crim, speaking about Clayton, "It is the fault of the Tennessee Democratic party."

The Tennessee Democratic Party said Clayton won because his name was first on the ballot.

They are not supporting Clayton, who they claim is part of a hate group called "Public Advocate" based out of Washington D.C.

"This election ought to be declared void and voters are allowed to vote for a legitimate Democratic candidate in a new special election," said Crim.

Mark Goins, the state election coordinator said, "It is not feasible, we certainly don't have enough time."

Goins said after the April 5 deadline, when all candidates had to have their paperwork filed, there was a seven day window for the state Democratic Party to get Clayton off the ballot.

"The Tennessee Democratic party chairman, under their by-laws and pursuant to state law, would have the ability to say when someone isn't bona fide. So it's actually their authority to do so," said Goins.

The Democratic Party did not question Clayton's status; therefore his name appeared on the primary ballot.

Goins said their hands are tied; any remedy will have to come from the Democratic Party.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Clayton said he did not believe his name would be removed from the ballot.

Clayton told reporters he is a legitimate democrat.

"I support Democrats, I vote for Democrats, I campaign in democratic neighborhoods that are more Democratic than Republican and that's where we get a lot of our support," he said.

As to claims of his involvement with "Public Advocate," Clayton told Nashville's News 2, "Mark Clayton can still show his face, because Mark Clayton doesn't belong to a hate group. He belongs to a love group and we are going to continue to try and support the rights of Tennesseans."

Although Clayton said he is a Democrat, he added he was unsure whether he would vote to re-elect President Obama because of his views on gay marriage.

The state Democratic Party told Nashville's News 2 they are still reviewing Crim's request.

Crim said he would consider seeking legal action if the state Democratic Party does not remove Clayton from November's ballot.

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