Sen. Lamar Alexander's efforts to ward off a primary challenge from the right fell short Tuesday with Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr's announcement that he will mount a tea party challenge for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Carr, a Murfreesboro business consultant, told WTN-FM host Ralph Bristol that he decided to abandon his challenge to embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais to instead take on Alexander because he considers the senator "the most liberal member of the delegation from Tennessee."
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, is considered vulnerable because of revelations of past infidelities with patients and once having encouraged his wife and a lover to seek abortions.
In response to the switch to campaign against Alexander, Carr's top campaign strategists, Chip Saltsman, resigned.
"It is because of Lamar Alexander that people like you have the honor of serving in the majority of the state legislature," Saltsman said in his resignation letter to Carr.