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VOL. 37 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 20, 2013

Ramsey: Little chance of Carr upsetting Alexander

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NASHVILLE (AP) - State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he sees little chance of state Rep. Joe Carr upsetting U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in next year's Republican primary.

In a conversation with reporters Wednesday, Ramsey cited his experience as a 2010 gubernatorial candidate - he overcame a fundraising disadvantage in the Republican primary won by Bill Haslam.

Asked about Carr's prospects for defeating Alexander, Ramsey responded: "I don't see it happening."

Carr last month abandoned his bid to oust incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais to instead challenge Alexander for the U.S. Senate.

Alexander's campaign had $3.1 million on hand through the first half of the year, while Carr had about $275,000 from his House race.

Meanwhile, Carr has been defending himself against claims that he lifted answers for a tea party group's questionnaire from the Heritage Foundation, a think tank in Washington.

The answers were submitted to the Coalition for a Constitutional Senate, a group of more than 60 tea party and other conservative groups seeking to rally behind a candidate to defeat Alexander.

Carr told The Tennessean newspaper (http://tnne.ws/1fGoPbW) that he didn't plagiarize his answers.

"When we were crafting our answers, I went to various sources - not just Heritage, but a number of resources - to do the research," he said. "I certainly would never imply that my thoughts or ideas or views are exclusively my own, and I certainly didn't represent them in the questionnaire that way."

Carr said he wasn't trying to pass off the think tank's work as his own.

"There's nothing in there, quite honestly, that's uniquely mine," he said. "I believe what the Bible says: There's nothing new under the sun."