Sen. Alexander faces tea party-styled challengers

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, a 40-year veteran of Tennessee politics, is facing a challenge from two tea party-styled candidates who've tried to cast him as out of touch with the state's increasingly conservative electorate.

Should state Rep. Joe Carr or Memphis radio station owner George Flinn prevail against Alexander on Thursday, they would be the first challenger to knock off an incumbent U.S. senator in this year's midterm elections. So far this year, the argument that sitting senators have lost their connection with voters hasn't been a winner.

Alexander has sought to avoid any chance Carr or Flinn could make a case against him by locking down key endorsements early. He's spent the final few weeks of the campaign stressing his ability to get results in a divided Senate.

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