For Tennessee Democrats, A US Senate Candidate They Won’t Have To Disown

Attorney Terry Adams is a first-time candidate running in the U.S. Senate race. He told reporters at the state capitol in Nashville Friday that he had raised roughly $25,000 for his campaign, declining to say just how much he thought it would take to challenge incumbent Republican Lamar Alexander. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Attorney Terry Adams is a first-time candidate running in the U.S. Senate race. He told reporters at the state capitol in Nashville Friday that he had raised roughly $25,000 for his campaign, declining to say just how much he thought it would take to challenge incumbent Republican Lamar Alexander. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

A Knoxville attorney said Friday he’s in the U.S. Senate race to win…and because somebody needs to run. The last time Tennessee elected a senator, Democrats wound up renouncing their candidate.

The Tennessee Democratic Party put so little effort into the race two years ago that a political unknown named Mark Clayton won the primary. He was disavowed for having ties to a hate group.

“I mean we can never, ever, ever allow that to happen again,” said candidate Terry Adams, who is a bona fide Democrat with the party’s backing. “You’ve got to have candidates and you’ve got to have campaigns if you’re going to have a party. And sure, [disavowing Mark Clayton] did inform my decision.”

It’s been eight years since Tennessee elected a Democrat to statewide office, and Lamar Alexander isn’t just any incumbent. He has decades of name recognition and a massive campaign war chest.

Adams said his primary complaint about Alexander is just how long he’s held public office. He’s running for his third term in the U.S. Senate, even after writing a book suggesting politicians should limit themselves to two terms.

“I dislike – in general – career politicians, to be completely honest,” Adams said. “I don’t believe that’s what was intended by the framers” of the U.S. Constitution.

But Democrats are not-so-secretly hoping that Alexander may not make it to November’s general election. He’s being challenged in the GOP primary Tea Party candidate Joe Carr, a state representative from Rutherford County.

Who Is Terry Adams? 5 Bio Points

  1. Grew up in one-bedroom apartment in Nashville, Glencliff High School grad
  2. Joined the Navy to pay for school at the University of Tennessee
  3. Operates a title company in Knoxville
  4. Never run for office
  5. Mother wrote the song “Cry, Cry, Cry” for  Connie Smith

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