Nearly two years remain until Sen. Lamar Alexander is on the ballot for re-election, but the 72-year-old Republican took additional steps Tuesday to ward off any potential challengers considering a bid to unseat him in 2014.
In an unprompted announcement, Alexander's campaign predicted a collective haul of $3 million to be raised at four separate fundraising events for the senator this spring. The first event will be held in April at the Chattanooga home of Sen. Bob Corker, with others taking place in Knoxville and Memphis.
Any funds raised by Alexander will be added to a war chest already totaling approximately $1 million.
In addition, the senator's campaign revealed it was seeking bundlers to further his fundraising efforts. In a letter to contributors, Alexander said his campaign had already recruited 10 bundlers with the intent of raising $100,000 and had set a goal of enlisting 25 supporters to agree to raise $50,000 each.
Included among $100,000 bundlers is Knoxville businessman Jim Haslam, founder of Pilot Corporation, longtime GOP fundraiser and father of Gov. Bill Haslam. Jimmy Haslam, former Pilot CEO and owner of the Cleveland Browns, is also on Alexander's statewide finance committee.
Alexander's announcement is not the first action taken with the intent of repelling any would-be opponents. In December, he revealed a who's-who list of "honorary co-chairs" for his campaign, which is being chaired by 2nd Congressional District Rep. Jimmy Duncan.
Alexander's co-chairs are Gov. Bill Haslam; Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; House Speaker Beth Harwell; Sen. Bob Corker; and Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Phil Roe, Diane Black, Stephen Fincher and Chuck Fleischmann.
No candidates from either Republican or Democratic parties have declared a bid to unseat Alexander.