- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is throwing her support behind the Tea Party challenger in Tennessee who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander in next month’s primary.

Mrs. Palin used her Facebook account Wednesday to officially endorse state Rep. Joe Carr as “the new voice Tennessee needs in the U.S. Senate.”

The endorsement breathes new energy into the campaign of Mr. Carr, who has been trying to ride the momentum of earlier Tea Party primary election surprises, like the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the near defeat of Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.

Mrs. Palin, who burst on the national scene as the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008, explained why she was willing to wade into a primary battle and try to help unseat Mr. Alexander, whose lengthy resume includes stints as Tennessee governor, a presidential candidate and a Cabinet secretary.

“Thank you, Lamar Alexander,” Mrs. Palin wrote, “for the respect and integrity you’ve shown in your many years of public service in Washington.

“Unfortunately,” she added, “advocating and voting for amnesty, cash for clunkers, bailouts, raising the debt ceiling, and many controversial Obama administration nominees has marred” his reputation as a conservative.

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Mrs. Palin further needled Mr. Alexander, saying that it’s a “disappointment that after so many years in office Senator Alexander has refused to debate Joe Carr in this campaign. Really, it’s pretty unbelievable because the good people of Tennessee deserve to hear from both these candidates to know who will be on their side and who will choose the Washington status quo.”

Other anti-establishment conservatives have also been rallying behind Mr. Carr, who still trails in fund-raising and the polls. Talk-radio host Laura Ingraham showed up at a “Beat Lamar” rally and has undertaken a $20,000 get-out-the-vote effort financed by the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.

Mrs. Palin said she believes Mr. Carr is gaining momentum.

“The conservative grassroots patriots in Tennessee have clearly spoken,” Mrs. Palin said. “When I visited there earlier this month, I was impressed by all the energy and momentum behind Joe Carr.”

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