Blackburn, DesJarlais rally for Reeves; another Republican urges ‘protest vote’ for Democrat

U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Scott DesJarlais urged support for Republican state Senate candidate Shane Reeves on Saturday while the Murfreesboro Post reports a former GOP congressional and state Senate candidate is urging voters to cast a “protest vote” for Democrat Gayle Jordan instead.

Tennessee Star has pictures of the congressmen at the rally of “enthusiastic supporters of Shane Reeves” and observes “The race has drawn attention in recent days as political observers look for signs that the purported “Blue Wave” of Democratic victories hoped for in the 2018 midterm elections by Democrats has begun to show up in Tennessee.” The Star says state GOP Chairman Scott Golden, who earlier issued a news release bashing Jordan, also spoke at the Reeves rally in Murfreesboro.

The Reeves campaign distributed comments in advance of the rally from Blackburn, who is currently running for the U.S. Senate, and DesJarlais, who is running for reelection in the 4th Congressional District.

Blackburn: “I know Shane Reeves will fight to foster an agenda that will create jobs and promote prosperity for state senate district 14. We need a conservative businessman in Nashville who will stand with President Trump here in Tennessee. Shane will represent well the values and beliefs of the 14th district and I look forward to showing my support for him on Saturday in Murfreesboro.”

DesJarlais: “Having known Shane for over six years, I’m confident he will immediately contribute to the legislative process bringing an expansive knowledge of business and healthcare to the table. I look forward to joining team Reeves this Saturday to support his campaign and ensure Republican voters understand the urgency and importance of getting out to vote next Tuesday.”

And here’s a Golden quote from a Tennessee Republican Party news release attacking Jordan last month:

“Saying Gayle Jordan’s radical atheist views don’t represent the values of Tennesseans across this state or in District 14 is a gross understatement. She flat out attacks and rejects the fundamental social, moral, and religious beliefs of millions of Tennesseans.”

Excerpt from the Murfreesboro Post story on Steve Lane, who previously has run unsuccessfully in Republican primaries against former state Sen. Jim Tracy and DesJarlais, and made is comments in a Facebook post:

“I’ve heard some say they cannot vote for a “Godless liberal” like Jordan… That’s fine but consider this: There are currently only 5 Democrat Senators out of 33 total. If she wins, there is literally nothing she will be able to do in the Senate. I doubt she could even get a bill out of subcommittee.”

In his post, Lane says “protest votes” should be made for several reasons: First, primaries should be closed and paid for by parties, because opening them leads to the election of “RINO candidates like Shane Reeves, aka Jim Tracy 2.0.”

… Lane also says Reeves is “no more Republican” than his opponent and accepted a campaign donation from a chief lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, in addition to being endorsed by the “liberal” Tennessee Education Association and National Education Association, which endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In addition, Lane points out Reeves accepted a $1 million state grant to start his new business TwelveStone Health Partners after selling Reeves-Sain Drugstore to Fred’s.

Furthermore, Reeves promised to run a “clean campaign” in the Republican primary but ran attack ads against his opponent, former state Rep. Joe Carr, “all of which either were outright lies or at the very least were gross deceptions.”

… In response to Lane, Reeves’ campaign issued a statement saying, “When you get conservative stalwarts like Marsha Blackburn and Scott DesJarlais stumping for you, little stunts like that aren’t taken seriously. Our base is united and fired up to defeat the left-wing policies our opponent promotes.”

Campaign finance note: The Post article quotes Lane as saying Reeves has loaned his campaign $95,000. Actually, financial disclosures filed Wednesday show he loaned the campaign $105,000 between Jan. 15, the date of his last disclosure, through March 3, closing date of the new report. He had loaned the campaign $150,000 before that date.

The disclosures also show Reeves has spent about $300,000 since Jan. 15 compared to $18,846 spent by Jordan. He had reported $268,000 of expenditures in the earlier report (which covered most primary spending). Jordan, who had no primary opponent, reported spending of $2,617 in her earlier report.

Early voting in the race closed on Thursday with 7,647 votes cast. That compares to 5,189 early votes cast in the December Senate District 14 election, which Republican state Sen. Mark Pody won by a 308-vote margin after reporting expenditures of just $27,000 in his pre-general election disclosure —  barely ahead of Democrat Mary Alice Carfi’s $23,000.

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