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VOL. 38 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 3, 2014

Alexander, Ball launch TV ads in Tenn. Senate race

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Democrat Gordon Ball and Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander are launching television ads criticizing each other in the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee.

In his first ad of the general election campaign, a stern Alexander insists that a vote for his opponent would be "one more vote for Barack Obama's agenda."

Ball's ad features old footage of Alexander playing a piano, but the audio is an off-key version of the "Tennessee Waltz." The ad suggests that voters are "tired of the same old song and dance."

Alexander, who is seeking a third Senate term was dismissive of the Ball ad in a statement released Monday afternoon.

"He's butchering the Tennessee Waltz," Alexander said. "No telling what he'll try to do to Rocky Top."

The Ball campaign noted that Rule No. 297 from Alexander's book "Little Plaid Book" states: "Serve two terms and get out."

"I guess he changed his tune on that one," Ball said in a release .

The book was released as Alexander, a former two-term governor, was preparing for a second bid for president in 2000. Its subtitle reads: "311 rules, lessons, and reminders about running for office and making a difference whether it's for president of the United States or president of your senior class."

The Alexander campaign suggested Monday that that dictum was aimed at executive office, not congressional service.

"I'm running for a third Senate term to be part of a new Republican majority that will move the country in a more conservative direction," Alexander said in a statement emailed to reporters.

Ball is a Knoxville attorney who has so far mostly self-funded his Senate campaign. He announced last week that he has poured $1 million of his own money into the general election campaign after spending $408,000 on his primary race.

Ball and Alexander are scheduled to make their only scheduled joint appearance of the Senate campaign at a Farm Bureau candidate forum in Cookeville on Oct. 16, the day after early voting begins.

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