Republican U.S. Senate candidate Brenda Lenard said state GOP Party Chairman Chris Devaney should not be backing incumbent Lamar Alexander.
The Lenard campaign said, "In a Tennessee Republican Party fundraising letter dated August 30, 2013, signed by Chris Devaney, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party wrote 'More importantly -- GOP control of the U.S. Senate is within reach. With Tennessee's Lamar Alexander on the ballot, we have a chance to help put Republicans in control of that chamber (the Senate) too.' This is, a public endorsement of Lamar Alexander and a direct violation of Article II State Executive Committee Section 4 A. of the Bylaws of the Tennessee Republican Party which states:
"The following shall apply to endorsement of candidate in contested election: A. Neither the Executive Committee as a body, nor the Officers, nor TRP's paid staff members, nor a County Republican Party or Executive Committee as a body, nor County Republican Party Chairmen shall endorse a Republican candidate in a contested primary election."
Ms. Lenard said, "We are deeply disappointed regarding Chairman Devaney's, actions. Moreover, this is not the first instance in which Chairman Devaney has violated the party's bylaws in recent weeks. For example, after my candidacy announcement in late January of 2013, Chairman Devaney served as the master of ceremonies for a Lamar Alexander campaign event on July 20th at the Smyrna airport. Then, on August 30th, by which time Alexander had two announced challengers, Chairman Devaney pens a letter mailed on the letterhead of the Tennessee Republican Party that is a clear endorsement of Lamar Alexande.
"Chairman Devaney's blatant disregard for the rules are egregious tactics that trample upon the voting rights of millions of Tennessee voters. This is not the type of leadership that should be exemplified by party officials; nor should it be tolerated. It is a clear abuse of power," Lenard added. Acts such as these by Party officials add unnecessary obstacles to the election process that ultimately result in voter suppression that disproportionately impact blue collar workers, people of color, the elderly, the disabled and students. We hope that Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee will address these concerns and call for a fair and unbiased pre-election environment in Tennessee."