According to one website, Tennessee GOP Chairman Chris Devaney has broken the law.
Benswann.com says that Devaney has endorsed Lamar Alexander, something that isn’t fair before the primaries even.
Step in Christopher Devaney, chairman of Tennessee Republican Party. A letter was recently sent to Tennessee republican primary voters, which asked voters to consider donating $25->$100 to help take control of the US Senate by reelecting incumbent Lamar Alexander (R). Devaney makes no mention of Joe Carr (R) in his letter to TN GOP voters.
In doing so, Devaney broke party laws. Article II, Section IV of TNGOP bylaws state:
“Neither the Executive Committee as a body, nor the Officers, nor the TRP’s paid staff members, nor a County Republican Party or Executive Committee as a body, nor County Republican Party Chairmen shall endorse a Republican candidate in a contested primary election.”
Many are now calling to Devaney to resign for breaking party laws. Devaney responded by saying that it was a vendor mistake, and that the letter was created months ago. However, it is well known that Devaney has close ties to Alexander, Corker and Governor Haslam who are all working to support Lamar. Furthermore, Devaney had plenty of time to fix the letter if he actually intended to.
Whether it was Devaney’s intention to endorse Alexander is not clear. However, it is clear that Devaney is under extreme pressure from Tennessee’s liberal GOP establishment to keep Alexander in office.
The author says that Alexander votes with Obama 62% of the time, which is not consistent with the political leanings of Tennesseans. He also claims that
State Rep. Joe Car recently announced his candidacy as a credible candidate to take on Lamar Alexander. The state establishment went into chaos. The field of possible candidates has cleared and Carr will take on Lamar head to head. Lamar’s stature has changed since a credible candidate emerged. Suddenly, Lamar finds himself having to vote against Obama, which is something he typically doesn’t do.
A grassroots campaign has sprouted called “Beat Lamar“. The organizers are the same who assisted Ted Cruz (R-TX) to his US Senate seat. Lamar previously secured assistance from almost every federal delegate in the state for his reelection. However, it’s not enough. Lamar is starting to trail in the polls.
I haven’t seen that Alexander is trailing in the polls, but this could be a very interesting race. It would be best for the state party to let Republicans have a choice, vote on candidates and then coalesce around the winner.