Lt. Governor Says Tennessee Tea Party In For Tough Time Challenging Sen. Alexander

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey enjoyed widespread tea party support in his run for governor in 2010, but expects such groups will have a tough time recruiting a primary challenger to take on Sen. Lamar Alexander next fall. Photo via Gov. Haslam's flckr stream.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey enjoyed widespread tea party support in his run for governor in 2010, but expects such groups will have a tough time recruiting a primary challenger to take on Sen. Lamar Alexander next fall. Photo via Gov. Haslam’s flckr stream.

Despite some calls to mount a primary challenge against Republican Senator Lamar Alexander next year, Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey says he’ll stay out of the race.  Ramsey says he’s advised a fellow lawmaker to steer clear of the contest as well.

Ramsey jokes he wouldn’t want to “step down” and be a U.S. Senator.  He’s enjoyed strong tea party support in the past, and says he routinely turns down calls to take on Alexander, who some conservatives see as too moderate.

“I’m not exaggerating, I get a dozen emails a week asking me to run.  So there is a groundswell – I don’t want to say groundswell, whatever.  The tea party groups are out there looking for an opponent, and I think they’ll have a hard time finding one against Lamar.”

Ahead of his push for reelection next year, Alexander has been trying to project strength, to dissuade potential opponents.  This spring he reported raising more than a million campaign dollars.

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