published Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Lamar Alexander holds $1,000 a person Nashville fundraiser

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is holding a $1,000 a person fundraiser in Nashville on Friday.

The former governor last week announced he was giving up his No. 3 leadership post as Senate Republican Conference chairman January, saying it would “liberate me to spend more time trying to work for more results on issues I care most about” and devote time trying to resolve Senate gridlock.

He also emphasized he is running for re-election to a third Senate term in 2014.

Alexander’s fundraiser invitation includes a list of seven “honored guests” in the form of Senate GOP colleagues. As might be expected, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is among them

Others attending include U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Dick Lugar, R-Ind.; Scott Brown, R-Mass.; and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

A few Tennessee Republicans think the list could prove to be a peek at some of the lawmakers who might join with Alexander in pushing against partisan gridlock. Snowe is considered a moderate and Barrasso ran as one in his first, unsuccessful, Senate bid.

Brown won with tea party support but has been sharply criticized by Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips of Tennessee as having thrown the conservative movement “under the bus” by criticizing some of the GOP’s proposed budget cuts.

Hatch and Lugar, both conservatives, nonetheless have reached out in the past and face GOP primary challenges next year.

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