The tea party Republican challenging incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander in the Tennessee primary says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning defeat this week has fired up the tea party in the Volunteer State.
"Combustible material in Tennessee has been ignited and we have a roaring blaze that is going to consume Lamar Alexander and put a constitutional conservative in the United States senate from Tennessee," Tennessee State Rep. Joe Carr said on Newsmax TV’s "America’s Forum."
Carr said his grass-roots campaign has been building and his supporters knew that if they "continued to build, throws logs, or combustible material, on the fire, that was going to provide the fuel for that moment when this flame would get ignited, that we would be rewarded with our discipline and persistence and with all the tea party groups that have rallied around this campaign in Tennessee."
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Since Cantor’s defeat in Virginia this week by tea party candidate Dave Brat, Carr said his campaign has raised tens of thousands of dollars and signed up more than 100 new volunteers via Facebook and Carr’s website.
Some 62 tea party groups have endorsed his candidacy, he said. Carr characterized himself as a "solid conservative" and Alexander as a moderate.
Alexander’s pro-amnesty position could cost him the election, Carr said, noting that illegal immigration is "consistently and persistently" one of the top three issues for Tennesseans.
He noted that when elected to his current position in the Tennessee General Assembly in 2008, he promised his constituents he’d do everything in his power to "protect (Tennessee) from illegal immigrants and the ill effects that they bring when they come to our state unlawfully."
He said he has sponsored, crafted and been the architect of numerous bills, such as "a mandatory e-verify bill … a mandatory Save Bill that kept illegals from getting state taxpayer funded benefits in Tennessee, a No Sanctuaries City Law in Tennessee, and an identity theft law in Tennessee for the purpose of employment."
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