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Field Clearing for Joe Carr to Take on Establishment GOP Senator Alexander

Joe Carr

The BEAT LAMAR candidate forums, sponsored by Real Conservatives National Committee and a consortium of Tennessee Tea Party groups, have shown some immediate success. After the first candidate forum on August 31 in Nashville the field of potential conservative primary opponents is beginning to clear for Tea Party and constitutional conservative state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) to take on establishment GOP Senator Lamar Alexander in Tennessee’s hotly contested U.S. Senate Republican primary election.

Conservative radio host Ralph Bristol reported that word went out to Tea Party groups across Tennessee that Kevin Kookogey has suspended his "unannounced campaign" for U.S. Senate.  

"As of this morning, Kevin Kookogey has officially suspended his plans to run for U.S. Senate. He has relayed to me that he believes it is vital that there be a united fight to defeat Lamar Alexander and that if he continued to participate through the Coalition and Beat Lamar processes, especially in an unofficial-candidate capacity, that it would cause confusion and there wouldn't be unity. I know there are other considerations as well, but bottom line is that unless something dramatic changes in the campaign to defeat Alexander, Kevin Kookogey won't be a candidate."

The Tennessean quoted Kookogey as saying dividing conservatives would be “disastrous” to the ultimate end: beating Alexander.

“Joe [Carr’s] announcement kind of came out of left field,” Kookogey said, adding that he alerted Carr’s campaign about concerns of diluting the conservative base.

“What became apparent to me was that there was going to be divided loyalties,” Joey Garrison of The Tennessean reported Kookogoey saying as he suspended his “unannounced campaign.” “Both sides appeared to have their supporters, and it didn’t appear they were going to yield to each other.”

As Joey Garrison observed for The Tennessean, the potential of splitting up the Tea Party base would have been a major hurdle standing in beating Alexander, though Carr has said he would step aside if a fellow tea party candidate gained momentum and he didn’t.

Kookogey, former Williamson County Republican Party chairman, gained national notoriety in May when it was revealed his conservative group, “Linchpins of Liberty,” was among those targeted by the Internal Revenue Service for tax-status scrutiny.

In setting aside his campaign at this early stage in favor of uniting conservatives to defeat Senator Alexander – who votes Obama’s position more often than any other Republican we can think of – Kevin Kookogey has demonstrated a level of patriotism too often missing in today’s politics.

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Kevin Kookogey

I was at the event in Nashville on Aug 31. Joe Carr has shown real strength in the Tennessee General Assembly and Kevin is really able to articulate conservative principles and with this action shows he lives what he says. And while I wish Joe could do both - be a US Senator and continue the fight in the TN State house, I am confortable supporting him against Liberal Lamar any day