Category Archives: U.S. Senate campaign

Results in governor, U.S. Senate races

From the Associated Press
U.S. Senate

2,055 of 2,065 precincts – 99 percent

x-Lamar Alexander, GOP (i) 848,567 – 62 percent

Gordon Ball, Dem 436,869 – 32 percent

Joe Wilmoth, CST 36,025 – 3 percent

Martin Pleasant, Grn 12,516 – 1 percent

Tom Emerson, Ind 11,122 – 1 percent

Danny Page, Ind 7,701 – 1 percent

Rick Tyler, Ind 5,740 – 0 percent

Joshua James, Ind 5,664 – 0 percent

Bartholomew Phillips, Ind 2,377 – 0 percent

Edmund Gauthier, Ind 2,303 – 0 percent

Eric Schechter, Ind 1,666 – 0 percent

C. Salekin, Ind 783 – 0 percent

Governor

2,055 of 2,065 precincts – 99 percent

x-Bill Haslam, GOP (i) 949,732 – 70 percent

Charles Brown, Dem 308,525 – 23 percent

John Jay Hooker, Ind 30,519 – 2 percent

Shaun Crowell, CST 26,519 – 2 percent

Isa Infante, Grn 18,484 – 1 percent

Steve Coburn, Ind 8,591 – 1 percent

Daniel Lewis, Ind 8,280 – 1 percent

U.S. House District 4 South Central

237 of 242 precincts – 98 percent

x-Scott DesJarlais, GOP (i) 83,950 – 58 percent

Lenda Sherrell, Dem 51,132 – 35 percent

Robert Doggart, Ind 9,191 – 6 percent

GOP control of U.S. Senate gives Alexander, Corker new clout

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is about to gain new clout in the U.S. Senate following national gains by Republicans in Tuesday’s election.

Republicans succeeded in picking up at least seven seats, one more than they needed to take over control of the Senate. That means Sen. Lamar Alexander, who resoundingly defeated Democrat Gordon Ball on Tuesday, is now poised to head the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, while Sen. Bob Corker is set to become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Alexander, a former governor and two time presidential candidate, had said the prospect of becoming a committee chairman had motivated him to run for a third term.

“I ran for re-election to be part of a new majority in the Senate that will fix our broken system, get the right things done, and begin to move our country in a new direction,” Alexander said in his victory speech in Knoxville. “I’ll do this in a way Tennesseans know well — to work with others to get results.”

Corker, who has been a vocal critic of President Barack Obama on foreign policy matters, said in a statement Tuesday that he looks forward to the change.

“After years of gridlock, this election represents a unique opportunity for Congress and the administration to govern responsibly,” he said. “Some of our country’s greatest achievements have occurred when one party controls Congress and another the White House.”

Alexander suffered a closer-than-expected primary contest against tea-party styled challenger Joe Carr in August, but he resoundingly defeated Democrat Ball by 30 percentage points in the general election Tuesday.

The wide margin of victory likely came as a surprise even to Alexander, who as late as Monday was making the case to reporters that a far smaller victory would have still been convincing.
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Alexander’s victory remarks

News release from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s campaign:
KNOXVILLE – Lamar Alexander told supporters following his re-election to the United States Senate tonight that he will help move the country in a different direction.

Speaking at the Crowne Plaza in Knoxville, Alexander said, “I ran for re-election to be part of a new majority in the Senate that will fix our broken system, get the right things done, and begin to move our country in a new direction. I’ll do this in a way Tennesseans know well—to work with others to get results. Tennesseans want a senator who knows how to get things done, not just make a speech.”

The senator is currently the top Republican on the Senate committee overseeing health care, education and labor, and he is also the top Republican on the appropriations subcommittee on energy overseeing funding for facilities such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In a Republican Senate, he would be poised to serve as chairman of both committees.

Alexander’s full remarks as prepared follow:
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Alexander, Haslam promptly declared winners as polls close

The AP bulletins:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Lamar Alexander has won a third term representing Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.

Alexander was beating Democrat Gordon Ball in early returns Tuesday night.

Alexander emerged from a closer-than-expected primary campaign against state Rep. Joe Carr, and then he left little to chance against Ball in the general election campaign. Alexander shed his usual feel-good campaign image to harshly criticize his Democratic opponent in TV ads and in public appearances.

Alexander spent more than $8.6 million what was one the most difficult campaigns of his 40 years in Tennessee politics.

Ball tried to capitalize on anti-incumbent sentiment. He attempted to portray Alexander as out of touch with Tennessee voters.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Bill Haslam has been re-elected to a second term as Tennessee governor.

The outcome of Tuesday’s election was widely expected, as Haslam faced no serious opposition either in the primary or the general election. He beat Democrat Charlie Brown, who raised no money in his bid for office.

This year’s re-election campaign was a far cry from Haslam’s first run for governor four years ago, when he faced a spirited nomination fight with U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp and state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey. Haslam went on to defeat Democrat Mike McWherter by 32 percentage points in 2010.

Election day stories on Ball vs. Alexander

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee voters are deciding whether to grant Republican Lamar Alexander a third term in the U.S. Senate after what has been one of the more difficult campaigns in the former governor’s races over the past 40 years.

Alexander faces Democrat Gordon Ball, a Knoxville attorney who has largely self-funded a campaign that has focused on portraying the incumbent as out of touch with Tennessee voters.

Alexander has hit back at Ball as being beholden to Democratic President Barack Obama’s agenda and for being a “slick-talking personal injury lawyer.”

Alexander is a former governor who also ran for president twice. He had spent a combined $8.6 million on his primary and general-election campaigns through the latest reporting deadline.

Further, from the Commercial Appeal:
Alexander, 74, spent Monday meeting with supporters in Nashville before heading to Knoxville for a University of Tennessee basketball game. Ball, 65, was in Memphis working on get-out-the-vote efforts and visiting a phone bank urging “No” votes on the anti-abortion Amendment 1 on the ballot. “This amendment needs to be defeated,” he said.

Alexander told reporters he thinks he has a “good chance” of winning a third Senate term with 51 to 54 percent of the vote, and that Republicans will win control of the Senate.

“I think it’s a pretty simple choice: I think most Tennesseans, like most Americans, don’t like the direction the country is going, and they know the only real way to change it is to change the leadership of the Senate. I’m one more vote for a new Republican majority that will move the country in a different direction, and my opponent is one more vote for President Obama’s agenda,” he said.

…Ball, a Knoxville lawyer, visited Planned Parenthood in Memphis where volunteers made phone calls urging people to go to the polls and vote “No” on the amendment that would remove any right to abortion from the Tennessee Constitution and allow the state legislature to enact whatever regulations on abortion are permitted by the federal courts.

Ball criticized Alexander again for refusing to participate in televised debates. “Tennesseans would like to know why you voted against student loan relief and why have you tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act countless times without offering an alternative.” He earlier criticized the senator’s opposition to the federal minimum wage, a minimum-wage increase, and equal pay for equal work by women.

TNGOP contends Ball holding illegal raffle

News release from Tennessee Republican Party:
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Republican Party today filed a formal complaint with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming due to the Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Gordon Ball’s illegal raffle the campaign alerted supporters to yesterday.

“All donations made to support Gordon Ball in the next 24 hours will be entered to win” reads the campaign email.

According to the Tennessee Code, “only a qualified 501(c)(3) organization that has submitted an application to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming, and that has been approved by the Tennessee General Assembly, can hold a raffle.” Additionally, Gordon Ball’s campaign raffle is not shown on the approved list of events on the Secretary of State’s website.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney remarked, “Once again, Gordon Ball is trying to skirt the rules the rest of us abide by — first it was by failing to pay tens-of-thousands of dollars in fees and taxes, and now it’s with this illegal raffle. We’ve filed the appropriate complaint with the State of Tennessee to stop the illegal event in question. Who knows? He probably got the idea from another Democrat and decided to copy and paste it here. But Tennessee’s laws don’t work that way. His campaign will soon be over thanks to Tennessee voters who have grown tired of his continual efforts to distract from his liberal record and questionable personal history.”

MTSU Poll: Amendment 3 outcome uncertain; Haslam leads Charlie Brown 50-19, Alexander over Ball 42-26

News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
The election night fate of a proposed amendment constitutionally banning a state income tax remains uncertain, given close percentages of supporters and opponents and a large proportion of undecided voters, the latest statewide MTSU Poll shows.

Meanwhile, Republican incumbents Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander hold substantial leads over their challengers in the Nov. 4 election despite the tumble their approval ratings took last spring.

The amendment to constitutionally ban a state income tax, known as Amendment 3, drew the support of 30 percent of registered voters, while a statistically equivalent 25 percent oppose it, and 24 percent are unsure. Fourteen percent of respondents said they would cast no vote at all, and the rest decline to answer.

The recent poll of 600 registered voters has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Amendment 3 would constitutionally prohibit the legislature from levying, authorizing or permitting a state or local tax on income. The amendment carves out an exception for the state’s existing tax on some income from stocks and interest.

“Given the statistical tie between supporters and opponents as well as the large number of voters who are still making up their minds, we can’t say for sure from these poll results how Amendment 3 will fare,” said Jason Reineke, associate director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University.

“Remember, too, that, in order to pass, the amendment will have to receive a number of votes equal to a majority of however many votes are cast in the race for governor. In our sample, 166 likely voters said they supported the amendment, while 416 planned to cast a vote in the race for governor. That comes to only about 40 percent. So, Amendment 3 appears to have some ground to cover among all of those voters who are still undecided about it.”
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Alexander spent $548K, Ball $325K from Oct. 1 through 15th

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander spent more than $548,000 during the first two weeks of October, mostly on an advertising blitz, reports The Tennessean.

The splurge put a dent in Alexander’s campaign account, which typically doesn’t dip below seven figures. He had $767,787 left as of Oct. 15, according to his latest Federal Election Commission report.

Alexander is running for a third term against Democrat Gordon Ball.

Ball reported $728,940 left in his account as of Oct. 15. He has loaned his campaign about $1.4 million.

Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, Alexander’s campaign spent $459,691 producing and airing TV ads. Five days after the media buy, his campaign started airing a negative ad that calls Ball a “slick-talking” lawyer. His campaign’s final ad, which doesn’t mention Ball, started airing statewide Monday.

…Alexander has spent about $9 million in campaign money since his last election in 2008, when he won with 65 percent of the vote. His campaign also shows $150,000 in debts from the August primary.

Ball, a Knoxville lawyer, has raised a total of $218,344, not including the loans, according to a summary of his reports compiled by the Federal Election Commission. He has spent $880,105.

During the first two weeks of October, Ball’s campaign spent $325,470, including $290,798 on media advertising.

Alexander: Things will be good when GOP controls the U.S. Senate

Sen. Lamar Alexander says a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate won in next week’s election would grease the wheels of that body and produce results for Tennessee, reports the Commercial Appeal.

“Sen. (Mitch) McConnell has said with Republicans in charge, we’ll put bipartisan bills on the floor, we’ll debate them, we’ll work Mondays and Fridays, and we’ll start dealing with the problems that Americans expect us to deal with,” Alexander said. “And it’s absolutely ridiculous that we haven’t been in Washington these last several weeks.”

Alexander said this could mean replacing the Affordable Care Act “as rapidly and responsibly as we can,” stressing local decision-making on education, defending right-to-work laws and reducing the “growth of runaway spending and fix the debt.”

“Perhaps more important than anything else, we’d try to restore the Senate,” he said. “We’d try to put the Senate back to work.”

Alexander spoke to The Commercial Appeal Tuesday afternoon after spending some of the day in Jackson, where he helped Republican state Senate candidate Ed Jackson campaign. Alexander was to hold a fundraiser, his last of the 2014 cycle, in Memphis Tuesday night before heading to East Tennessee Wednesday to continue his efforts in the final week of a campaign against Democratic nominee Gordon Ball.

In Memphis Monday at the first stop of a West Tennessee bus tour, Ball said the recipe for change wasn’t in changing leadership, but in changing Tennessee’s senator.

“If you want six more years of Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander, then the people of this state can go vote for them,” Ball said.

McConnell, the Senate minority leader from Kentucky, is poised to become majority leader if Republicans claim the Senate — and if he defeats Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Rhodes College graduate, in that state’s race. The New York Times’ statistical projection gives Republicans a 68 percent chance of winning the Senate, which is about in the middle of the various projections it has collected on its site.

Republicans need to win six seats to win the majority.

Alexander, 74, who is seeking a third six-year term, shrugged off a question about whether this is his last campaign — “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it” — but said the chances of serving in a GOP majority were central to his desire to seek re-election. He is poised to become the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.