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Sarah Palin wades into another GOP fight

Sarah Palin endorsed a far-right candidate challenging an incumbent Republican in Tennessee, voicing her support for Joe Carr over Sen. Lamar Alexander.
Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin gestures to the crowd as she walks off-stage after addressing the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md. on March 8, 2014.

Sarah Palin endorsed another far-right candidate challenging an incumbent Republican in Tennessee on Wednesday, voicing her support for Joe Carr over two-term Sen. Lamar Alexander.

“The time has come for new leaders who are willing to stand up to the political establishments and the Obama administration and say, 'no mas!'” Palin wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s time for a change. Joe Carr is the new voice Tennessee needs in the U.S. Senate!” 

Carr is running to the right of Alexander, particularly on immigration. Alexander supported the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill, known as the “Gang of Eight” plan. But national conservative groups have shied away from the race, including groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund that traditionally help insurgents challenge incumbents from the right.

Alexander is leading Carr 43-36, but Carr has been closing the margin steadily for months. Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host who helped defeat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, campaigned with Carr in Tennessee, boosting his poll numbers. 

The two Republicans will face off in a primary August 7.

Palin thanked Alexander for his service in her endorsement, but also criticized him for “advocating and voting for amnesty, cash for clunkers, bailouts, raising the debt ceiling, and many controversial Obama administration nominees has marred the incumbent’s record.”

According to the former Alaska governor, Carr has “stood up to those in his own party, fighting to enact some of the toughest illegal immigration legislation in the country and working to make Tennessee the 4th most business friendly state in the nation.”

Palin adds, “Joe knows that government is most often the problem, not the solution, and he will work to reduce the size of our federal bureaucracy and always use the Constitution as his guide.”

Another Palin-endorsed insurgent Republican, Chris McDaniel, lost his primary run-off last month in Mississippi. The tea partier has stubbornly refused to concede that race, alleging deliberate voter fraud on behalf off his opponent, incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.