2014-08-07T164657Z_1_LYNXMPEA760YC_RTROPTP_2_USA-ELECTION

Senator Alexander defeats Tea Party challenge in Tennessee primary

U.S. Senator Alexander interacts with supporters as he campaigns in Dickson, TennesseeBy Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE Tenn. (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander on Thursday earned the Republican spot on the November general election ballot after defeating a state representative with Tea Party support in Tennessee’s primary. In front of supporters, Alexander declared victory over state Representative Joe Carr, his closest competitor, who had Tea Party backing, and five other conservatives, calling on his opponents to join in supporting his bid for reelection. “I want to take Tennessee’s get-it-done kind of leadership, put it in the United States Senate and move our country in a different direction,” he said during his victory speech. Although Senate Republican incumbents like Alexander have fared well this primary season, the defeat of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in June at the hands of a Tea Party candidate shook the Washington and Republican establishments.

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