Alexander looks to fend off Tenn. GOP challengers

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Associated Press

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 6 at 10:03 AM

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. (AP) — After losing his first bid for Tennessee governor 40 years ago, Lamar Alexander shed his blue suit and buttoned-up appearance for a plaid shirt and hiking boots, and embarked on a 1,000-mile walking tour around the state to connect with voters on a personal level.

Alexander won the next two governor's races and has fostered that folksy image through two Republican presidential bids and two terms in the U.S. Senate. On Thursday, he's seeking to fend off a pair of tea party-styled primary challengers who have tried to cast the 74-year-old incumbent as out of touch with an increasingly conservative electorate.

Also on the ballot are a challenge to embattled Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais and a high-profile attempt to topple Democratic justices on the state Supreme court.

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