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POLITICS: PennAve

Laura Ingraham to campaign for Lamar Alexander's primary opponent

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Politics,Betsy Woodruff,Tennessee,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Lamar Alexander,Joe Carr

Another Republican primary opponent is hoping to use talk show host Laura Ingraham to boost his chances.

Ingraham will head to Nashville, Tenn., later this month to campaign for Joe Carr, a state representative running in the Republican Senate primary against incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Carr's got a tough row to hoe, if you will, and he's said he hopes Ingraham's trip to the Volunteer State will help his fortunes. He raised $217,000 this quarter and has $442,000 on hand. Alexander raised more than $800,000 and is sitting on $3.4 million.

Notably, Carr raised less in the second quarter of this year than the first, when he pulled in $255,000.

After Dave Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary for Virginia's 7th Congressional district, Carr's campaign manager, Donald Rickard, told the Washington Examiner that the ensuing grassroots excitement was feeding a fundraising boost. Virginia's primary was in June, during the second quarter, so the fact that Carr's second-quarter fundraising didn't outpace his fundraising in the first quarter suggests the Dave Brat effect may not be as potent as some expected.

Still, Carr's campaign evokes Brat's win as evidence that their efforts may see a payoff.

"Laura Ingraham was one of the very first national voices who felt that our campaign against Lamar Alexander's brazen support of amnesty was credible and viable," Carr said, according to Breitbart. "After seeing the significant impact Laura had on the Dave Brat-Eric Cantor race, we believe this can be a game-changing moment in this campaign."

Ingraham wasn't the only conservative pundit to play an outsized role in Dave Brat's astounding win. Ann Coulter and Marc Levin also prominently touted his candidacy. Coulter endorsed Brat in mid-April, and Levin boosted him on his nationally syndicated radio show. Neither has endorsed Carr.

And other conservative powerhouses that often back long-shot primary challengers -- including the Senate Conservatives Fund and Sarah Palin -- have kept mum on the Tennessee race. Carr has made trips to D.C. to court influential conservatives, and -- thus far -- with limited results.

Kurt Bardella, a strategist for Carr’s campaign, said he hears a number of prominent conservative “are taking a second look at this.”

Tennessee doesn’t have runoff elections, so Carr has to get more votes than Alexander the first time around to win.

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