By Elise Viebeck - 06/06/14 10:04 AM EDT
Sen. Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn.) primary challenger is criticizing his support for President Obama's new Health and Human Services Secretary.
Tennessee State Rep. Joe Carr said Alexander's vote to confirm Sylvia Burwell on Thursday shows that the senator is not sufficiently opposed to ObamaCare.
"Had I been in the Senate, I would have joined with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to oppose her nomination."
Alexander spoke on the Senate floor ahead of Thursday's vote, urging Burwell to work with Congress on changes to the healthcare law.
"Republicans would like to repair the damage that ObamaCare has done," he said. "We would like to prevent future damage, and as responsibly and rapidly as we can, we want to move in a different direction to put in place proposals that provide more freedom, more choices, and lower costs."
Alexander is well ahead of Carr in the primary, though some polls have shown him polling at under 50 percent. The election will take place on Aug. 7.
GOP senators facing nominal primary challenges split on the vote. While Alexander voted for Burwell, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) opposed her.