published Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Joe Carr's TV spending swamped by rival Lamar Alexander

NASHVILLE - Republican Joe Carr spent about $100,000 on television advertising from July 1-18, but the tea party favorite's buy was exceeded 11-fold by his GOP primary target, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, disclosures show.

According to Carr's Senate financial disclosure, posted on the Federal Election Commission's website today, the state representative from Lascassas raised $70,340 during the 18-day pre-primary period. He spent $178,523 and had $169,219 in cash on hand for the Aug. 7 primary election.

Dr. George Flinn, the third major GOP candidate, who is largely self-funding his effort, spent about $150,000 on television broadcast and cable advertising, his disclosure shows.

Flinn, a multimillionaire radiologist who owns a string of radio stations, spent $402,477. More than half of it — $260,000 — went for direct mail.

Alexander spent about $65,000 on direct mail with nearly $25,000 of that going to The Hopper Group, a media firm run by former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Tommy Hopper.

Carr spent about $21,000 on direct mail.

Alexander's total expenditures were $1.34 million during the 18-day period and he still had $2.19 million in cash on hand. Flinn's cash on hand was $1.26 million.

Carr has said all along he would be outspent by Alexander but is counting on tea party activists and a right-leaning Republican electorate to bolster his effort.

The state lawmaker has been endorsed by nationally syndicated conservative radio host Laura Ingraham as well as by 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. He's also been endorsed by Phyllis Schafley, an icon in the modern conservative movement.

Alexander touts his endorsements by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the National Right to Life and two past chairmen of the American Conservative Union.

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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