Alexander campaign continues to lasso GOP leaders

Former Tennessee GOP chairs to serve as honorary co-chairs

The campaign to re-elect U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is continuing a strategy of covering its flank within the Republican Party and sending a message to anyone dreaming of taking down the plaid-clad one.

Today, the team announced that all 13 living former Tennessee Republican Party chairs will serve as honorary co-chairmen of the Statewide Committee to Reelect Lamar Alexander. The announcement follows the campaign’s recent announcements of political and finance leadership.

The terms of the 13 Republican chairmen span the last four decades — from S.L. “Kopie” Kopald, Jr., of Memphis, who served from 1971 to 1974, to Robin Smith of Chattanooga, the most recent of the 13 to serve as state party chairman.

The complete group of former state party chairs endorsing Alexander includes the following:

• Robin Smith, 2007-2009
• Bob Davis Jr., 2004-2007
• Beth Harwell, 2001-2004
• John “Chip” Saltsman, 1998-2001
• Jim Burnett, 1996-1998
• Randle Richardson, 1993-1995
• Tommy Hopper, 1990-1992
• Brad Martin, 1988-1990
• Jim Henry, 1985-1988
• Susan Richardson Williams, 1982-1985
• Charles L. Overby, 1981-1982
• Tom Beasley, 1977-1981
• S.L. “Kopie” Kopald Jr., 1971- 1974

Alexander announced on Dec. 1 that Congressman John Duncan will serve as his campaign chairman. Co-chairs will include Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell, as well as U.S. House of Representatives members Marsha Blackburn, Phil Roe, Diane Black, Stephen Fincher and Chuck Fleischmann.

Last week, Alexander’s campaign announced four Tennessee fundraisers that state finance chairman Steve Smith predicted will raise $3 million, to add to the $1 million the senator already has for his re-election.

State party by-laws prohibit current party chairman Chris Devaney from endorsing a candidate. The campaign plans to announce additional members of its statewide committee in the coming weeks.