Tea Party, conservative groups tell Lamar Alexander to retire - WKRN News 2

Tenn. Tea Party, conservative groups tell Lamar Alexander to retire

Posted: Updated: Aug 16, 2013 1:28 PM CDT

Twenty Tea Party and conservative groups scattered across Tennessee are urging U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander to conclude his "long and notable career by retiring with dignity."

It's another indication of efforts to fuel a Republican Party primary challenger against the former governor who has served in Washington since 2002.

In a media email, Republican activist Matt Collins said he authored a letter urging Alexander's retirement.  The letter was then circulated and signed by the 20 groups.

The bulk are Tea Party groups in counties ranging from Gibson in west Tennessee, to Dickson and Sumner in Middle Tennessee, and Sevier in the eastern part of the state.

The letter is critical at Sen. Alexander's "compromise and bipartisanship." It states, "America faces serious challenges and needs policymakers who will defend conservative values, not work with those who are actively undermining those values."

Senator Alexander's office did not immediately respond to a request for a comment, but most political observers believe the 73-year-old Senator will face a primary challenger.

There are indications that Alexander's campaign is well aware of the potential opposition within the Republican Party.

In what many perceive as an effort to blunt a challenger, the senator has been airing political ads and making public appearances that include Tea Party favorite Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Democrat Larry Crim has announced that he will run for Alexander's Senate seat.

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