State Rep. Joe Carr announces Alexander challenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State Rep. Joe Carr says he will challenge incumbent Lamar Alexander for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate next year.

The decision to challenge Alexander means Carr will abandon his bid to oust incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (day-zhar-LAY’) in the 4th Congressional District.

DesJarlais is considered vulnerable because of his past infidelities and once having encouraged his wife and a lover to seek abortions. Meanwhile, Alexander is headed into his bid for a third term in the Senate with $3.1 million on hand through the first half of the year.

Carr’s made the announcement to WTN-FM host Ralph Bristol on Tuesday morning.

The announcement pre-empts a series of statewide “vetting” sessions that tea party groups have scheduled to evaluate potential challengers to Alexander, whom they consider too moderate.