- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Five things to know about the Nov. 4 general election and other ballot issues in Tennessee:



Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is strongly favored to win re-election in November. In the August primary, Alexander fended off a tea party challenge by state Rep. Joe Carr. Carr had high-profile endorsements from tea party-allied figures, but he could not overcome Alexander’s fundraising advantage and 40 years in Tennessee politics. The 74-year-old Alexander, who has served two terms as the state’s governor and two terms in the Senate, will face Democratic candidate and attorney Gordon Ball in the general election.



Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who faced only nominal primary opposition, will likely coast to a second term. His Democratic opponent is a 72-year-old hunter named Charlie Brown, who did manage to win the Democratic primary for governor by more than 35,000 votes. Following his victory, Brown told The Tennessean newspaper: “I’m a redneck hillbilly, and I want to put this state first. I want to put Tennessee up front.”



After years of debate, state lawmakers passed a law this year that allows wine to be sold by grocery and convenience stores starting in July 2016 if citizens vote to approve the change. Only communities that currently allow package stores or liquor by the drink are eligible to hold votes as long as at least 10 percent of voters in the community sign petitions. Currently in Tennessee, wine can be sold only in liquor stores.



A proposed constitutional amendment would give lawmakers more power to regulate abortion in the state. Abortion rights supporters strongly oppose the measure, saying it would allow the Legislature to put in place new laws regulating abortion even in cases of rape, incest or danger to the health of the mother.



Another proposed constitutional amendment would give the Legislature the power to approve or reject the governor’s appointments to appeals courts. The proposal would keep the replace-retain elections for appeals judges and Supreme Court justices to serve a full eight-year term.

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