No Republicans have announced a 2014 bid for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Sen. Lamar Alexander, but the senator took additional steps Thursday to assert his clout within his own party.
Alexander's campaign announced that in addition to previously announced backers within the state GOP establishment, all 13 living former Tennessee Republican Party chairs would be supporting his bid for a third term.
The announcement marks the third time the 72-year-old senator has publicized support within his own party for an election that is nearly two years away. In December, Alexander announced his campaign chairman and co-chairs to the GOP's state executive committee in Nashville, listing Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker and every Republican congressman except Rep. Scott DesJarlais as being supportive of his campaign for re-election.
Last month, the senator said he expected to raise a total of $3 million at four separate fundraising events this spring.
The former GOP chairs endorsing Alexander are Robin Smith (2007-2009), Bob Davis Jr. (2004-2007), House Speaker Beth Harwell, (2001-2004), Chip Saltsman (1998-2001), Jim Burnett (1996-1998), Randle Richardson (1993-1995), Tommy Hopper (1990-1992), Brad Martin (1988-1990), Jim Henry (1985-1988), Susan Richardson Williams (1982-1985), Charles L. Overby (1981-1982), Tom Beasley (1977-1981) and S.L. “Kopie” Kopald Jr. (1971-1974).
No candidates from either Republican or Democratic parties have declared a campaign to unseat Alexander.