Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) has already unofficially clinched the Volunteer State Republican Senate nomination, according to a development announced yesterday.
The Tennessee Republican Party, as political parties have the right to do under state election law, disqualified self-funder Darrell Lynn for "failing to meet the bona fide standards” for Republican candidates as set in the party bylaws. Explaining the situation, Tennessee GOP chairman Scot Golden said that the party wants “…to ensure that the candidates seeking our nomination are active and invested in the Republican Party in Tennessee and today the State Executive Committee followed the process laid out in our bylaws to do just that." Along with Mr. Lynn, who was clearly the strongest of the possible Blackburn challengers, six other minor GOP Senate candidates were also disqualified. One gubernatorial candidate was also stricken from the official candidates’ list.
The action virtually guarantees that, since candidate filing has closed for the August 2nd primary, Ms. Blackburn will now be virtually unopposed for the party nomination. Since former Gov. Phil Bredesen is in similar position in the Democratic primary, the general election is already unofficially underway.
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