NASHVILLE - Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is launching a new television ad on Monday that features testimonials from a series of Tennesseans about his accomplishments in Washington and as Tennessee governor.
The ad will be the third to run statewide for Alexander, who is seeking a third term this year. His previous ads featured Sen. Rand Paul, a tea party favorite from neighboring Kentucky, and stressed his opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law.
The new ad touts the senator's record in bringing the auto industry to Tennessee, his support for hunting and fishing in the state and using his seniority to help the Lee University choir land a role at Obama's inauguration in 2012. The spot runs 60 seconds - double the normal length of TV spots.
Primary opponent Joe Carr, a state representative from Murfreesboro, has argued Alexander is not conservative enough for Tennessee voters. Carr's campaign announced this week that he had raised $250,000 in the fourth quarter, after drawing just $52,000 in the previous reporting period.
Campaign adviser Tom Ingram declined to say how much the campaign is spending on the new ad, but added that it will "more than rival" the total amount Carr said he raised in the quarter. Alexander spent nearly $400,000 to broadcast his previous ads in the third quarter, according to campaign finance disclosures.
Alexander's year-end fundraising results have not yet been announced. He had $2.8 million remaining on hand through the first three reporting periods.
The laudatory ad comes weeks after Alexander's office was rocked by the arrest of the senator's chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, on charges of possession and attempted distribution of child pornography. Alexander promptly fired Loskarn.