The Gannett news organization last night filed an update on the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate in Tennessee, only there is not much to glean from it in terms of major developments. Basically, Rep. Joe Carr still hopes he will see a cash infusion from Senate Conservatives Fund, Club for Growth, and other Tea Party-friendly groups in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, so that he will be somewhat more competitive against incumbent U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander.
And those groups continue to rather vaguely keep their distance, even as they maintain their adamant opposition to Alexander’s re-election. There is still time for them to act, to be sure, but the closer we get to the year-end and February 2014 reporting dates, the more nervous Carr’s camp might get. It doesn’t seem likely that he can rely on in-state support alone.
Meanwhile, is another challenger set to emerge? While the article above incorrectly states that Carr is Alexander’s “only announced” GOP rival (just ask Brenda Lenard and Danny Page), it also hints that the conservative PACs are holding out for a different hero.
In what can only be considered obliquely related news, former Williamson County GOP chair Kevin Kookogey will speak on Tuesday to a Constitution Party group in Franklin. Kookogey had at one point been set to square off against Carr in the “Beat Lamar” organization’s vetting process, but then suspended his campaign.
Whatever the case, Carr’s road ahead becomes more difficult to map as time passes without a decision from the outside funding groups.
The Constitution Party of Tennessee and the Green Party of Tennessee have filed suit in federal court to ask that an earlier ruling which gave them a rather tenuous hold on ballot access be upheld; and that other provisions be cast as unconstitutional.
According to Courthouse News Service, the Constitution and Green parties cite the following as needing to be fixed: a requirement for an affidavit forswearing violent overthrows of government (which, by the way, the major parties don’t have to have); the unequal time requirements to meet all the obligations to maintain party recognition status; and the whole thing about having to start all over with the signatures.
The Times News has more.
Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party of Tennessee has a separate court challenge going. The party is suing so that its candidate in the Nov. 21 special election in House District 91, Jim Tomasik, will be recognized as a Libertarian instead of being listed as an Independent on that ballot.
The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office has published the list of minor party candidates for the November election. They’re all together on a separate file from the Republican, Democratic, and independent candidates.
All but one of the candidates are nominees of the Green Party of Tennessee.
The lone Constitution Party candidate, who is running in the U.S. Senate race, must feel some affinity for his Green counterparts, though. After all, he hails from Greeneville. And their two parties joined together in the legal challenge to Tennessee’s ballot access laws.
And his name is Kermit.
More from Tom Humphrey.
Surely you know that the Republican National Convention will take place in Tampa, and the Democratic National Convention will be in Charlotte; but did you know that there is a national political convention here in Tennessee, and that it’s happening now?
Thanks to a heads-up from a longtime friend in the blogosphere, now you do. The Constitution Party is holding its convention in Nashville. (Personal aside: the apparent frontrunner for the nomination formerly represented the congressional district where I spent my childhood, and earlier was a state senator—and a Democrat).
Former Congressman Virgil Goode is widely considered the front-runner for the top spot on the ticket, though it’s unclear at this moment who will serve as his running mate. Former Savannah State football coach Robby Wells is also seeking the party’s nomination.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, it’s not too late to defect and join this ticket. Think about it: “Goode & Pawlenty 2012” has a certain sweetness to it.
The Constitution Party of Tennessee, which is the state-level affiliate, won ballot access (along with the Green Party of Tennessee) in a recent federal court ruling, although officials for the State of Tennessee have appealed the judgement. It is therefore undetermined whether the Constitution Party’s nominees for president will appear with the party label beside them, but as of right now they would.
To my knowledge, there are no state legislative or congressional candidates running as Constitution Party candidates in Tennessee.
(Updated to add paragraph 4.)
UPDATE: The stay is denied. (Original post follows) Continue reading