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Name-Dropping

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey may not be running for governor anymore, but he’s still keeping his campaign-finance fingers in electoral pies all across the state of Tennessee.

The former GOP contender for governor divided $14,000 between House and Senate Republican candidates over the last few months in an effort to lock down his party’s majority in both chambers.

Republicans are hopping to widen the the House’s 50-48 majority and establish solid control of the chamber after narrowly losing the speaker’s office to Kent Williams, a Republican gone independent after he was voted leader in 2008 with mostly Democrat support. The GOP has solid control of the Senate with a 19-14 majority.

“I daresay I’m the only senator that’s actually mailed money to practically every challenger in the state of Tennessee,” he told TNReport last week. “I’ll assure you, I sent out more checks yesterday.”

His philosophy? “This year, in 2010, if a Republican is within the margin of error, then they’ll probably really win.”

Here’s a list of House Republican candidates he said he’s supporting:

  • David Alexander, running against incumbent Rep. George Fraley.
  • Shelia Butt, running against incumbent Rep. Ty Cobb in 64th District.
  • Duane Dominy, running against incumbent Rep. Sherry Jones.
  • Jim Gotto, against Sam Coleman for Democratic Rep. Ben West’s vacated seat.
  • Don Miller, running against Larry Mullins for Democratic Rep. John Litz’s vacated seat.
  • Dennis Powers, running against Keith Clotfelter in Rep. Chad Faulkner’s lost Republican seat.
  • Bill Sanderson, running against incumbent Rep. Judy Barker.
  • Art Swan, running against Marvin Pratt for Republican Rep. Joe McCord’s vacated seat
  • Ryan Williams, running against incumbent Rep. Henry D. Fincher.
  • Charles Williamson, running against caucus chairman and incumbent Rep. Mike Turner.
  • Tim Wirgau, running against incumbent Rep. Willie “Butch” Borchert.

And here are the people he didn’t mention, but to whom he sent checks between July and September, according to campaign finance reports:

  • Sen. Mae Beavers, running against George McDonald.
  • Rep. Stacey Campfield, running against Randy Walker for state Senate.
  • Sen. Bill Ketron, running against Debbie Matthews.
  • Rep. Jon Lundberg, who is running unopposed.
  • Don McLeary, running against incumbent Rep. Lowe Finney.
  • Rep. Tony Shipley, running against Nathan Vaughn.
  • Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, running against James C. Hale.

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