Political fund raiser, conservative leader, and former congressional candidate from Franklin, Monty Lankford has said he will not challenge Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander next year. Below is the text of his letter to friends and supporters:
Over the past several months I have followed a deliberative process in Washington, D.C. and Tennessee as I considered running against Lamar Alexander for the U.S. Senate. After much prayer I have decided not to run and I have pledged my full support to Lamar. In the past few weeks Lamar has been to my home, he’s met with me and my family, and I have shared with Lamar my commitment to help him win his re-election to the U S Senate.
We all know the liberal news media puts a filter on what we hear about our leaders, only to create division within our party. Today, more than ever, they are trying to twist Republicans into a party of negative infighting. The media does that to distract our country from the bigger issues - tackling the debt, stopping Obama from eroding our rights and infringing on our free enterprise system.
I’m supporting Lamar because he stands up for Tennesseans:
1) In 2011 and 2012 Lamar received a 100% rating from the National Federation of Independent Business and a 100% rating from the National Right to Life. The NRA gave Lamar an “A” in its most recent evaluation of his record.
2) He’s committed to fixing the debt by restraining out-of-control spending. He has had the courage to introduce a specific plan that reduces entitlement spending by $1 trillion, he voted for the Budget Control Act which is now law and cuts $2.2 trillion in spending, he has introduced legislation to require a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget and he’s cosponsored the No Budget, No Pay Act. He doesn’t want anyone in Congress to get paid if they don’t do their job.
3) He has fought to stop unfunded federal mandates his entire time in Congress. Lamar challenges legislation that sends Tennesseans the bill for Washington’s mandates because he believes the best thing Washington, D.C., could do for the state of Tennessee is stop imposing federal mandates that soak up our tax dollars.
4) He believes, as I do, that the Republican Party is the party of opportunity. In 2012, he voted with the majority of Republican senators 83% of the time.
5) He wakes up every day working hard for us and standing up for Tennesseans. He believes that we must preserve our Constitutional rights so that our children and our grandchildren have the same opportunities and freedoms that we have enjoyed.
In my role as the Chairman of the Defenders of Freedom PAC and the Leaders of Tennessee PAC, I’m proud of the ambitious goals we’ve set and achieved. Several years ago we said that working together we could achieve a majority in the Tennessee General Assembly, and for the first time since reconstruction control the redistricting process. We exceeded that goal and today have a supermajority.
Working together in 2014 we can win back the U.S. Senate from Harry Reid’s control, and increase our capacity in the House. The first step in that effort is to return Lamar Alexander to the U.S. Senate with unprecedented support from our party across the state of Tennessee.
In the weeks and months ahead Senator Alexander and I will be working together to continue building a united and strong Tennessee Republican Party. I hope you will go to Lamar’s website and join me by adding your name to those conservatives who support Lamar Alexander.
Monty Lankford Chairman, Defenders of Freedom