SPRING HILL, Tenn. - Kevin Kookogey, an unannounced candidate in the race against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in the August 2014 Republican primary, has withdrawn from the Tea Party's "Beat Lamar" vetting process.
"Thank you for inviting and allowing me to participate in the Beat Lamar forum yesterday in Nashville," Kookogey wrote in a Sunday email to Beat Lamar co-founder Michael Patrick Leahy. "It was good to see you, and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity, the questions were good, and the moderator was strong. I also made a lot of new friends!
"As an unannounced candidate, however, I have decided to withdraw from the remainder of the scheduled events, lest my attendance confuse your process."
Beat Lamar is seeking a Tea Party candidate who will stand with Ted Cruz to challenge Lamar Alexander in the primary.
Lorie Medina, co-founder of Beat Lamar, said the Saturday forum "was such a fantastic day for conservatism in Tennessee. Two men who believed that Tennessee deserved better representation were presented in a vigorous way."
"Throughout the wide range of questioning," Medina said, "it was clear that they were both constitutional conservatives. The attendees were able to get to know better the eventual challenger to Lamar Alexander."