Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says a state legislator getting into the race against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has no impact on his decision to run or not. Burchett continues to consider challenging Alexander in the Republican primary next year.
Burchett has told friends that social media has leveled the playing field somewhat in challenging incumbent officeholders. Alexander once walked across the state wearing a flannel shirt—in Burchett's case it would likely be a Carhartt jacket.
State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, dropped out of the 4th District Congressional race, where he was trailing state Sen. Jim Tracy, and has announced that he is running against Alexander.
Carr, though running for federal office, has not had nice things to say about the federal government. In fact, he sponsored a bill that called for the arrest of federal agents trying to enforce gun laws in Tennessee.
Carr has $300,000 from the Congressional race he plans to use and Alexander has $3 million and climbing. Chip Saltsman, who helped elect and re-elect Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, resigned as Carr's campaign manager, saying he didn't sign on to run against Alexander.
But Carr has been elected to public office, unlike some others the tea party has recruited to run against Alexander. The more candidates in the race the better for Alexander, as with most incumbents.