Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, endorsed state Rep. Joe Carr for the U.S. Senate last week, declaring in a news release distributed by Carr:
“Joe understands what it means to be a principled conservative and will hold to those values as our next senator. He will work to cut the size of the federal government and return many of those programs back to the states.”
In an interview, Niceley said he thinks Alexander “has done all right” in the past, but “it’s time for a fresh approach.” The state senator, who in the past legislative session unsuccessfully pushed a proposal to have state legislators pick U.S. Senate nominees rather than hold a primary election, said he also felt it appropriate that legislators support state legislators for the position.
Carr said in the news release that Tennesseans “value the judgment of the representatives that are closest to them and with Sen. Niceley’s support, they are beginning to get a picture of the type of campaign I plan on running — one focused on them at a grass-roots level.”
Rickard said in an email that other legislator endorsements of Carr will be forthcoming. Carr’s campaign disclosures show he already has several GOP lawmakers sending campaign donations — though Niceley isn’t listed. Among them are Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville and Reps. David Alexander of Winchester, Glen Casada of Franklin, Dale Carr of Sevierville, Bill Dunn of Knoxville, Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, Bill Sanderson of Kenton, Andy Holt of Dresden, Mark Pody of Lebanon, Charles Sargent of Franklin and House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga.
(Note: See February post on Campfield seeking a refund of $5,200 sent to Carr. The refund still hasn’t been reported, but both men said last week that it’s still in the works.)
In most cases, the money was donated from the legislators’ own campaign accounts, in some, through political action committees the legislators operate.
(UPDATE/CORRECTION: McCormick advises that his contribution, through his PAC, was made while Carr was running for Congress, not the Senate, and that Carr has refunded the $500 contribution at his request. “I am supporting Lamar in his reelection effort,” McCormick said.)
Alexander, on the other hand, has been endorsed by the Legislature’s top leaders, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell, as well as all Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation, Gov. Bill Haslam and all 13 living former chairmen of the Tennessee Republican Party.
Note: The full Carr news release is below
News release from Joe Carr campaign
Nashville, TN – Today, the Joe Carr for Senate Campaign announced the endorsement of State Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains). Senator Niceley represents the 8th Senatorial District covering Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, and Union Counties and has served the Tennessee State Legislature for more than a decade.
“We need a true conservative leader representing Tennessee in the U.S. Senate and that is why I am proud to endorse Joe Carr for U.S. Senate. Joe understands what it means to be a principled conservative and will hold to those values as our next Senator. He will work to cut the size of the federal government and return many of those programs back to the states,” stated Senator Frank Niceley.
“I have always believed that the most meaningful endorsements come from those who are closest to the people,” said Carr. “Sen. Niceley has spent so much of his life devoted to public service here in Tennessee and to have someone with his conservative credentials standing with me in this campaign means the world to me. I think people here in Tennessee value the judgment of the representatives that are closest to them and with Senator Niceley’s support, they are beginning to get a picture of the type of campaign I plan on running – one focused on them at a grass-roots level.”