Alexander to make bid for third term in Senate with strong backing

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Saturday officially unveiled his campaign for a third term.

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Alexander announced that Rep. John J. Duncan will be the chairman of his 2014 reelection campaign and revealed that he will be backed by nearly the entire Tennessee GOP delegation.

Only Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who is under fire for alleged violations of medical ethics for having affairs with patients, is not on board.

Sen. Bob Corker and Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Phil Roe, Diane Black, Stephen Fincher and Chuck Fleischmann all co-chair the Alexander campaign.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell round out the list.

In making his announcement, Alexander highlighted a need for fiscal discipline.

“Our country has serious problems to solve,” Alexander said. “We must fix the debt and move more decisions out of Washington. We must find better ways to help Americans move from the back of the line to the front in our struggling economy. It is time to stop making speeches and to start getting results.”

Alexander has been working with a bipartisan group of eight other senators to find a deficit grand bargain, including new tax revenue, for the last two years. His openness to tax revenue and compromise had provoked speculation he could face a primary challenge in 2014.

Alexander last year announced he was stepping down as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference to focus on solving the nation’s debt problems. The announcement paved the way for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to easily become the minority whip in 2013.