published Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Conservative group backs Tennessee state Sen. Jim Tracy in primary challenge

NASHVILLE — A national group that works to elect what it considers promising conservatives announced today that is backing state Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, in his GOP primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

GOPAC, which was founded by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., says Tracy is one of four "proven and tested state conservative state leaders" the group is backing nationwide in primary and general elections as part of its "Called-Up" program.

Others include state Rep. Marilinda Garcia in New Hampshire, state Rep. Walt Rogers in Iowa and state Delegate Barbara Comstock in Virginia. All are Republicans.

“Every major league baseball team with an ounce of promise and long-term success has a well-oiled farm system operation. At GOPAC, we operate under the same principle,” said GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli in a news release.

Donatelli said the group has "diligently worked to foster the talents of conservative leaders and build a deep bench of proven and tested candidates. Marilinda, Walt, Barbara and Jim have proven themselves on the state level, and it is now time to call them up to higher office.”

He said of Tracy and the others that "we know they have the knowledge, experience, and integrity to succeed in Washington, and we plan to provide them with the support necessary to get there."

That includes PAC contributions and encouragement of GOPAC members and followers to give to T This support includes receiving the maximum allowable federal contribution. In addition, GOPAC members and followers will be encouraged to "donate directly to the endorsed candidates,” GOPAC President David Avella said.

Tracy is running against DesJarlais as he seeks a third term representing Tennessee's 4th Congressional District. Teacher John Anderson of Bell Buckle is also running in the GOP primary. Democrat Lenda Sherell of Monteage officially launched her campaign on Monday.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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