‘Unfounded rumor:’ Peyton Manning eyes run for Lamar’s Senate seat

A recent bit of political gossip suggests that Sen. Lamar Alexander won’t run for reelection in 2020 and that Peyton Manning might run to succeed him. An Alexander spokesman calls the report, which appeared this week in a Politico notebook, an “unfounded rumor,” reports the Times-Free Press.

Here’s the brief note:  “BUZZ: Several Republicans are wondering whether Peyton Manning will run for Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-Tenn.) seat when he retires. GOP insiders say Alexander won’t run for another term in 2020.”

“Like everybody else in Tennessee, Senator Alexander is a big fan of Peyton Manning,” said Alexander Chief of Staff David Cleary in a statement. “The senator has made no formal decision about 2020 but he’s fundraising and taking the steps one would take to prepare for re-election.”

Cleary noted Alexander had a 60 percent job approval rating in a December poll conducted by Vanderbilt University poll “and is busy as chairman of the Senate Health and Education Committee repairing the damage caused by Obamacare and implementing the law fixing No Child Left Behind.”

Cleary said Alexander, 76, also remains “focused on maintaining a Republican majority in 2018 and helping Senator Corker with his campaign in Tennessee.”

…Tom Ingram, Alexander’s long-time political adviser, said “it’s ridiculous to print rumors without any foundation” regarding Alexander. As far as I know, he is [running in 2020]. That’s the message I got. And we’re preparing full speed ahead.”

…Manning was invited this week to speak to congressional Republican leaders during the annual GOP retreat….Both Alexander and Corker had welcomed Manning, a well-known contributor to Republicans, to the political gathering. Fox News speculated Manning’s Thursday “pep talk is likely to fuel speculation about whether Manning, who retired from the gridiron last year, will run for elected office.”



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