The Beat Lamar group has a new target—the chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.
On Monday, a leader for the anti-Sen. Lamar Alexander group sent a letter to GOP Chairman Chris Devaney, calling for Devaney's resignation after accusing him of implicitly endorsing Alexander's bid for re-election. The letter demands Devaney step down by 5 p.m. Tuesday, or the Beat Lamar group will request for the GOP executive committee to fire him.
"You have repeatedly violated the bylaws of the Tennessee Republican Party and no longer hold the moral authority to command the respect of the rank and file Republican voters of the state," the letter reads. "Specifically, you have voiced your public support and preference for incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is in a contested primary to receive the party's nomination for the U.S. Senate in the August 2014 primary. Such actions represent an arrogant and blatant disregard for the rules and bylaws of the Tennessee Republican Party."
According to party bylaws, leaders for the Tennessee GOP are not allowed to endorse in contested primaries. The group says Devaney's serving as master of ceremonies for a July 20 fundraiser, as well as a mention of the senator being on the ballot in a recent fundraising letter sent to members of the party, served as endorsements and are in violation.
In a Tennessean report, Tennessee GOP Executive Director Brent Leatherwood said that wording of the letter was the result of a mix-up between the party and a marketing firm, which took place before the entrance of Rep. Joe Carr into the race. The fundraiser for Alexander also took place before Carr became his first challenger in the GOP primary.
Another report from Nashville news station WKRN included a statement from Leatherwood saying the Beat Lamar group was "disregarding facts in order to create an issue for personal gain" with the letter.
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