The BEAT LAMAR organization and several Tennessee Tea Party groups are demanding the state GOP chair resign or they will "undertake a very visible campaign" of top Republican officials to "secure" his ouster.
The demand came in a letter to Chair Chris Devaney signed by various leaders of the state Tea Party and BEAT LAMAR groups.
They accuse Devaney of endorsing incumbent U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander in next year's Republican Primary even though he has opposition.
The groups cite the state Republican Party by-laws that say party officials cannot endorse candidates in a contested primary.
Devaney is accused in the letter of being master of ceremonies at an Alexander campaign event last month, and signing an official party letter that says with "Alexander being on the ballot, we have chance to help put Republicans in control of [the Senate] as well."
Tennessee's congressional delegation, state lawmakers and county GOP chairs are listed as those the BEAT LAMAR and Tea Party groups will target to support the state GOP chair's ouster.
In a statement sent to News 2, Brent Leatherwood, the executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, said, "As we have said before, the letter wasn't an endorsement and shouldn't be viewed as such. This is a case of someone disregarding facts in order to create an issue for personal political gain."