Plenty of politicians promise on the campaign trail to restore an intangible “American Dream,” but one outsider Senate candidate is putting his money where his mouth is and offering to make it a reality for a few lucky supporters.
John King, a Knoxville businessman and long-shot candidate in Tennessee’s Republican Senate primary, is looking to bring attention to his campaign to unseat incumbent Lamar Alexander with an “American Dream Giveaway.”
Conditional on a highly improbable King victory in the Aug. 7 primary, entrants into the contest could win one of 18 prizes, including a home-starter package, luxury SUVs, and 4x4 trucks, a debt-free home-improvement business, dream vacations, and even several firearms.
“I believe in the American Dream and want to encourage the hope that it still can be achieved,” King said. “So much so that I plan to give it away.”
King is one of nine Republican candidates, including Alexander, who filed for the race. State Rep. Joe Carr presents the most formidable tea-party challenge and is the only other elected official in the race.
Carr received a boost after Dave Brat’s stunning upset over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s primaries on June 10, especially after interviewing with Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham in the ensuing days.
But while Brat took on Cantor one-on-one on the ballot, Carr’s crowded field of competition could divide the bloc of unsatisfied Tennessee Republicans who oppose Alexander and weaken any chance of another upset. In this sense, the Tennessee primary bears more resemblance to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sweeping victory in South Carolina over six challengers last week than Cantor’s dramatic defeat at the hands of one foe.
And unlike Cantor, Alexander gave up his leadership role as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference in 2012, allowing him to act more independently and to focus more time on his constituents and reelection. The seat, in short, is reasonably safe. Even a tea-party-sponsored poll in May revealed a 24-point lead for Alexander over Carr, while earlier polls have shown an even bigger gap between the two. As The Cook Political Report has it, Alexander has little to worry about.
So, it’s easy to see why a little-known candidate is trying something new. If nothing else, King’s creative campaign ploy allows him to demonstrate his unwavering support for gun ownership and add a few recipients to his campaign email blasts. But so far, it is attracting minimal attention: with 49 days remaining, only 18 people have entered the contest.
- 1 The 1 Easy Way Donald Trump Could Have Been Even Richer: Doing Nothing
- 2 Democrats Prepare Major Campaign Finance Reform Push
- 3 This Was the Year for a Third-Party Candidate
- 4 The Unintended Consequences of Closing Primaries
- 5 Air Force Leader: It Was Difficult to Work at the Pentagon With ‘Discrimination’ Against Gays
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified on Friday the makes and models of 12 million cars and motorcycles that have been recalled because of defective air bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata. The action includes 4.3 million Chryslers; 4.5 million Hondas; 1.6 million Toyotas; 731,000 Mazdas; 402,000 Nissans; 383,000 Subarus; 38,000 Mitsubishis; and 2,800 Ferraris. ... Analysts have said it could take years for all of the air bags to be replaced. Some have questioned whether Takata can survive the latest blow."
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says 41 Secret Service agents have been disciplined in the fallout of an investigation over the agency's leak of personnel files. The leaker, who has resigned, released records showing that Oversight and Government Reform Chair Jason Chaffetz—who was leading an investigation of Secret Service security lapses—had applied for a job at the agency years before. The punishments include reprimands and suspension without pay. "Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service," said Johnson.
Mitt Romney spoke in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about his decision to challenge Donald Trump. “Friends warned me, ‘Don’t speak out, stay out of the fray,’ because criticizing Mr. Trump will only help him by giving him someone else to attack. They were right. I became his next target, and the incoming attacks have been constant and brutal.” Still, "I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.