Lamar Alexander Defeats Tea Party Challenger

Also: Montana's Walsh steps down amid plagiarism scandal

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 8, 2014 12:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another boost for the GOP's Senate hopes: Lamar Alexander has defeated a Tea Party challenger in Tennessee and is now strongly favored to win re-election this fall, reports Politico. State Rep. Joe Carr had sought to portray Alexander as an out-of-touch Washington insider, but that approach has failed to defeat any GOP senators in primary challenges this election cycle, the AP notes. In the state's 4th District, GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais—who admitted to having sexual relationships with patients and co-workers and encouraging his wife to have abortions—has a lead of just 33 votes over his primary challenger.

In Montana, meanwhile, Democratic Sen. John Walsh is dropping his election bid following reports that he plagiarized his 2007 master's thesis at the US Army War College, the New York Times reports. The party has until Aug. 21 to find a replacement for Walsh, who was appointed earlier this year to replace Max Baucus. The "research paper from my time at the US Army War College has become a distraction from the debate you expect and deserve," Walsh said in a statement. A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee says its candidate, Steve Daines, will defeat "whichever Band-Aid candidate Democrats can convince to get in the race."

Sen. Lamar Alexander celebrates after defeating state Rep. Joe Carr yesterday.
Sen. Lamar Alexander celebrates after defeating state Rep. Joe Carr yesterday.   (AP Photo/The Tennessean, John Partipilo)
Sen. John Walsh is seen in Washington on June 3, 2014.
Sen. John Walsh is seen in Washington on June 3, 2014.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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