Joe Carr calls matchup with Sen. Alexander 'David vs. Goliath' - WKRN News 2

Joe Carr calls matchup with Sen. Alexander 'David vs. Goliath'

Posted: Updated: Aug 20, 2013 10:25 AM CDT
Carr's campaign also took a brief blow Friday when it spelled Senate as "Sentate" in a picture posted on the state lawmaker's Facebook page. Carr's campaign also took a brief blow Friday when it spelled Senate as "Sentate" in a picture posted on the state lawmaker's Facebook page.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

As News 2 first reported Monday night, State Representative and Tea Party favorite Joe Carr will be switching gears from a congressional run to challenge incumbent and two-time presidential candidate Lamar Alexander in the U.S. Senate Republican primary in 2014.

Carr, who represents a portion of Rutherford County, made his official announcement on Ralph Bristol's radio show on 99.7 WWTN, then later took questions from reporters at an ad agency in Murfreesboro. 

At both locations he said that "in the last two or three weeks, the number of emails, calls and messages I have received, literally hundreds, have said, 'Will you please run against Lamar?'" Carr said. "So today, I am announcing that I am officially a candidate for United States Senate against Lamar Alexander."

With his family behind him at the Murfreesboro appearance, Carr said he wants to run a campaign that "reflects the values of Tennessee, that is what this campaign is about. "

"I have a lot of respect for Lamar Alexander and the service he has given to the great state of Tennessee," Carr said at his 10-AM availability with reporters. "but Senator Alexander's record, especially his voting record, has departed from the majority of Tennessee."

Carr cited Alexander's support of an immigration bill that recently passed the Senate and the Senator's lack of support for efforts to defund Obamacare as some of the factors where he believes the former Tennessee governor has departed from the values of everyday Tennesseans. 

"We also understand that this is a David vs. Goliath matchup, it really is" added Carr.  

"If he can be a credible candidate and have enough funding to get his message out about Lamar's voting record, that is where the distinction is going to be," says longtime conservative political observer Steve Gill.

He believes that Carr needs to raise a couple of million dollars within the state of Tennessee and another three to four million dollars from conservative groups outside the state.

"And with a five, six, seven million dollar war chest in the primary--that gives Joe Carr the ability to pull an upset even if Lamar spends ten or twelve million more," adds Gill.

After learning of Carr's decision to run for the U.S. Senate, one of Carr's top congressional campaign aides Chip Saltsman announced he won't be switching gears with the state lawmaker.

In his letter of resignation to Carr, Saltsman said, in part, "Having learned of your decision to run for the United States Senate, I must resign from your campaign. I signed up to help you run for Congress, not the Senate.

Saltsman went on to say he has been a "longtime supporter of Senator Alexander for many reasons" and will continue to be a "strong supporter."

He continued, "Due to the hard work of Lamar Alexander, and because he stayed true to his conservative ideals, our state has no income tax, great roads with no debt, and an economy that is the envy of most states."

He continued, "Due to the hard work of Lamar Alexander, and because he stayed true to his conservative ideals, our state has no income tax, great roads with no debt, and an economy that is the envy of most states."

Saltsman concluded that is his "honored to support Lamar Alexander for re-election."

In his radio appearance and later in Murfreesboro, Carr said he and Saltsman parted "amicably."

Saltsman was considered a key member of Carr's campaign bringing experience such as running Governor Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign and serving several years as chair of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Carr's campaign also took a brief blow this morning when it spelled Senate as "Sentate" in a picture posted on the state lawmaker's Facebook page. 

A campaign spokesperson addressed the misspelling by saying "we caught it, we fixed it, and we're ready."

As for the incumbent that Carr hopes to unseat in the party primary next August, Alexander's campaign released the following statement Tuesday afternoon, "Sen. Alexander has a conservative voting record. He has an A rating from the NRA and a 100 percent rating from both National Right to Life and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He will continue to do his best to use his experience and conservative principles to solve problems and get results for the people of Tennessee."

As for Democrats, Larry Crim has announced he will run in that party's primary for Alexander's senate seat.

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