Knoxville Attorney Gordon Ball Announces for Alexander's Senate Seat

Well-heeled class-action lawyer swells the list of Democratic hopefuls



Gordon Ball
  • Gordon Ball
Can it be that Tennessee’s Democrats will actually contest a major statewide office — in this case, the U.S. Senate seat held for more than a decade by the GOP’s Lamar Alexander?

Nay, more: can it be that Tennessee’s Democrats will actually have a primary contest involving more than one serious candidate?

The answer to both questions would seem to be in the affirmative after an announcement Wednesday by well-heeled Knoxville lawyer and former federal prosecutor Gordon Ball, an East Tennessean who earned his law degree at the University of Memphis and in recent years has won big judgments in a series of class-action cases against major corporations.

Ball, who joins fellow Knoxville attorney Terry Adams and Nashville "Christian counselor" Larry Crim in the Democratic primary, wasted no time to launching an attack on Alexander without naming him, contending in a news release that “Tennessee families have been victimized far too long by professional politicians and Washington insiders” and asserting that “the current incumbent promised to serve no more than two terms, a total of 12 years, but now he’s running for a third term, which would give him 18 years in the Senate.”

Ball himself promised that support of term limits would be a major plank in his platform.

Terry Adams
  • Terry Adams
Meanwhile, Adams, who declared for the Senate seat last October and is being assisted by former state Democratic chair Bob Tuke, also blasted the incumbent this week, saying in his own press release that “Senator Lamar Alexander has betrayed Tennessee’s veterans and embarrassed Tennessee once again” by voting against legislation that, Adeams said, “would have expanded access to veterans’ health and education services bs provided new incentives for businesses to hire veterans after their service to our country….”

For his part, Alexander is faced with a primary challenge from state Representative Joe Carr (R-Lascassas), who has support from Tea Party Republicans — a circumstance that has led some Democrats to wish out loud that the incumbent might at the very least be roughed up in his own primary.

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