Disavowed Democrat Appears with Republican Campfield

State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) stands in the rain alongside Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Mark Clayton. Blake Farmer/WPLN

The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate – disavowed by the Tennessee party– appeared today alongside an outspoken GOP state lawmaker. Mark Clayton is still trying to prove he really is a Democrat after his decisive primary win.

Knoxville Republican Stacey Campfield says Clayton must be a Democrat because at one point, he tried to convert the aspiring politician to become a Republican.

The two got to know each other working on legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill to restrict discussion of LGBT issues in public schools. Clayton’s organization – Public Advocate of the United States – is a supporter.

Asked whether he’s endorsing Clayton over Republican Bob Corker, Campfield says that he’s going to “vote for the most conservative person.”

“Listen, if it’s wrong to say we need more pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional family Democrats, if that’s wrong then I don’t want to be right. Those are the things that Mark holds and that he truly believes.”

Democrats have disavowed Clayton, citing Public Advocate’s designation as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The state party cannot get Clayton removed from the ballot, but it is asking Democrats to write in a candidate rather than vote for Corker.

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