News release from Larry Crim campaign:
According to a Federal Election Commission Statement of Candidacy filed with the Secretary of the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C., Larry Crim of Nashville, Tennessee has officially announced his Democratic candidacy for United States Senate (TN) in 2014.
Records on file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Public Records Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Senate reflect that Crim is the only Democratic Party candidate from Tennessee to file a FEC Statement of Candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2014 at this time.
Mr. Crim will seek the Democratic party’s nomination in August 2014. If Crim wins the Democratic primary, he will face the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in the November 2014 general election. The current republican incumbent in the U.S. Senate is Lamar Alexander, whose term is up in 2014. Alexander has announced he will run again.
Larry Crim, fourth place finisher in the Aug. 2 Democratic U.S. Senate primary, indicates in a news release that he’s dropping legal action to void the apparent victory of Mark Clayton, who has since been disavowed by the state Democratic party.
This comes after U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp of Nashville effectively threw the lawsuit out — though telling Crim’s lawyer he could come back and try again.
Instead of litigating, the release says Crim is launching a new organization — he will be chairman — called Democrats United For Tennessee. It’s purpose, says the release, will be uniting Democrats and “providing leadership for a new direction focused on emphasizing the importance of every race for public office and on the vetting, selection, nomination, and general election of Tennessee Democrats dedicated to being a public servant for all Tennesseans.”
The full release is below.
By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge on Thursday refused to void the Tennessee Democratic primary for U.S. Senate won by an anti-gay candidate the party has disavowed.
District Judge Kevin Sharp cited among the reasons for his refusal that the plaintiff, Larry Crim, was lacking certain filings and that there were errors in others. For instance, the Tennessee Division of Elections was named as a defendant instead of an individual, which should have been the election coordinator.
Sharp told Crim’s attorney, Michael Rowan, that once he got the proper items — such as a memorandum, affidavit and declarations — that he was welcome to file again.
“Before you can do anything, you have to follow the rules,” Sharp said.
Rowan, who acknowledged acting hastily in seeking an emergency ruling, told reporters after the hearing that he would talk to his client about how to proceed.
Crim sued the state Division of Elections and the Tennessee Democratic Party in trying to keep the winner of the Aug. 2 primary, Mark Clayton, off the November ballot.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — There isn’t enough time to hold another primary following the state Democratic Party’s disavowal of its U.S. Senate nominee, State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said Tuesday.
The state party has said it rejects the vocally anti-gay platform of nominee Mark Clayton, who received nearly 50,000 votes, or twice the number of his nearest competitor in a field of seven little-known candidates to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Corker in November.
Goins, a former Republican state lawmaker, said in a letter to fourth-place finisher Larry Crim that state Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester could have disqualified Clayton within a week of the April 5 filing deadline.
“Although Chip Forrester had the authority in April to disqualify Mr. Clayton, he did not do so,” he wrote.
Goins said Crim wants the result overturned because Forrester had failed to properly vet the candidates.
“It is not within the state’s purview to determine whether Chip Forrester is adequately performing the duties assigned to him by the party,” Goins wrote.
It would be up to the party’s executive committee to evaluate a challenge on those grounds and to decide if “justice and fairness” require replacing Clayton as the nominee, he said.
Jim Bilbo, a member of the Democratic Party’s executive committee, said in a release that the panel would work to improve the candidate review process.
“We owe it to Democratic supporters, candidates and volunteers to enact reforms so that extreme candidates who don’t represent our core Democratic, middle class values may never take advantage of our open elections again,” said Bilbo, who is chairman of the panel’s by-laws committee.
Clayton, 35, is vice president of Falls Church, Va.-based Public Advocate of the United States. He denies assertions by the state Democratic Party and the Southern Poverty Law Center that the organization is a hate group.
“Nobody that I know in this country … or anybody who’s ever be associated with any of the campaigns would ever want to hurt somebody who’s gay,” he said at a news conference. “We just want to help protect traditional values, so that moms and dads can raise families in difficult and uncertain times.”
“Mark Clayton does not belong to a hate group,” he said. “Mark Clayton belongs to a love group.”
Clayton dismissed the actions of the Forrester and the state party.
“Chip Forrester, despite reports to the contrary, is not the Democratic Party,” he said. “He just has a job. He just needs to stay in his office and do his job.”
Clayton said he and his supporters may seek to have Forrester removed from office
“If he continues to act against party rules and fight an elected nominee, then we’re going to have to go for his resignation,” he said.
Clayton made an appeal to President Barack Obama to invite him to the Democratic National Convention, though he said he voted for a third-party candidate in 2008 and hasn’t decided whether to vote for the president in November.
“I’m very close to voting for Obama this time,” he said. “But like many supporters we want President Obama to come home and be for traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
The primary election is not expected to be certified until later this month. Goins said there isn’t enough time to hold another statewide contest because military ballots must be mailed by Sept. 22 for the general election.
The state Democratic Party’s executive committee in 2008 vacated the nomination of state Sen. Rosalind Kurita after her 19-vote victory. Her opponent’s attorneys had alleged wide scale crossover voting by Republicans and that his supporters had been told to vote in the wrong primary.
State Republicans in 2004 disavowed the nomination of a U.S. House candidate who espouses racist beliefs. In later contests the state GOP stripped him of his right to run as a Republican.
A losing candidate for Tennessee’s Democratic U.S. Senate nomination launched an effort Monday to have the election of the winner, Mark Clayton, thrown out because he is a member of a “hate group.”
Larry Crim, who finished fourth in Thursday’s seven-candidate field, met with State Election Coordinator Mark Goins Monday, then delivered letters to the state Democratic Party headquarters asking that Clayton be rejected and that a new primary election be conducted no later than Oct. 9.
Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Sean Braisted said attorneys were reviewing the letter and wanted to research legal issues involved. The letter from Crim’s lawyer s a demands a reply by 3 p.m. Tuesday. (Note: Letter from Crim HERE; letter from Crim’s lawyer HERE.)
The party issued a statement Friday disavowing Clayton’s candidacy, saying he is “associated with a known hate group in Washington, D.C.” Clayton is vice president of Public Advocate of the United States, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as “a hate group” – a depiction disputed by Clayton and by the group.
State Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester said Friday that the party is simply asking voters to write-in a candidate of their choice in November’s election rather than vote for Clayton.
“That’s not a remedy at all – not for the candidates, not for the voters and not for the party,” said Crim.
(Note: If Clayton were off the ballot, Larry Crim would be at the top in alphabetical order. His proposal here amounts to calling a statewide special election — with, I think, the state party required to cover the cost — and likely won’t get much further than the news release phase. Here is the news release.) News release from Larry Crim campaign:
Larry Crim, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Tennessee’s August 2nd Primary, learned on Friday August 3rd that an unknown hate group leader Mark Clayton, who sneaked in as a democratic candidate on the ballot ahead of Crim, had hoodwinked the democratic party and voters taking the votes from top of the ballot positioning away from Crim and other bona fide Tennessee Democrats.
The democratic party’s discovery of the CLAYTON hate group association and his lack of democratic credentials was not until Clayton perpetrated a fraud on the party and voters by garnering top of ballot positioning and most votes on Thursday August 2, 2012.
The Tennessee Democratic Party has now said Clayton won exclusively because of being at the top of the ballot and has disavowed any association with Clayton because he is not a democrat and is an officer of a known
Based on that premise, the Larry Crim U.S. Senate campaign maintains Mr. Crim, who conducted a grass roots campaign mostly in Memphis and Nashville where he won more than any other candidate except Clayton, would have been the Democratic Elected Nominee on August 2nd since Crim would have also garnered the votes by topping the ballot but for Clayton’s fraudulent acts which caused Clayton’s name to be listed ahead of Crim.
Mr. Crim said: “The Tennessee Democratic Party has rightfully disavowed any and all association with Mr. Clayton, who is an officer and pawn of this extremist group seeking to infiltrate and dominate the democratic political
processes through such skullduggery in which Clayton and his group have engaged.”
Although all “bona fide democratic candidates were affected by Clayton’s actions”, said Crim, “our candidacy was especially impacted because the name of ‘Crim’ would have topped the ballot and reasonably garnered the nomination had this Clayton fraud not been on the ballot”.
U.S. Senate candidate Brenda Lenard said Wednesday that she has been urged to leave the race and endorse another of incumbent Sen. Bob Corker’s opponents in the Republican primary because of a bad check conviction and bankruptcies in her background.
Lenard, a Tea Party activist and single mother working on a doctorate in political science at the University of Tennessee, said she will “absolutely not” do so and believes that her life experiences – including the 1990s financial problems – make her a better person and a better candidate.
“There is not one thing in my past or even now that I’m ashamed of,” said Lenard, 45, of Sweetwater. “Life is tough and sometimes you have to roll with the punches.”
Sen. Bob Corker’s campaign is all dressed up with nowhere to go. The Tennessee Republican had raised $12.5 million to fund his re-election bid by the end of March, reports The Tennessean. Only one other senator running for re-election this year raised more, according to a Tennessean Washington Bureau analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
So far, at least, Corker doesn’t have much of a race to spend it on. Other top-grossing senators have clear reasons to aggressively raise money. Some, such as Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey — who has outraised Corker by $1.1 million — or Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, live in states with expensive media markets.
Others, such as Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio or Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, are preparing for tough re-election challenges.
Running a campaign in Tennessee, however, is relatively inexpensive, and Corker has no viable competitors. His nearest challenger, Republican Brenda Shivon Lenard, had brought in just $58,346 by the end of March. His closest Democratic competitor, Larry Crim, had raised $6,200.
(Note: Corker put $3 million of his own money into his 2006 campaign, which he narrowly won over Democrat Harold Ford Jr. after a combative Republican primary. His total spending in that race was about $11 million.)