The Tennessee Democratic Party said on Friday it was disavowing the winner of its primary for Senate because the candidate is part of an anti-gay hate group.
Mark Clayton, a Nashville-area candidate, received more than 48,000 votes on Thursday, about twice as much as any other candidate in the crowded seven-person Democratic field, winning the right to face popular Republican Senator Bob Corker.
But the state Democratic Party said it will not back Clayton nor allow him to use any of the party’s resources in the general election.
“The only time that Clayton has voted in a Democratic primary was when he was voting for himself,” said a statement from the party.
“Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket,” the statement continued. “Unfortunately, none of the other Democratic candidates were able to run the race needed to gain statewide visibility or support.”
Democratic party spokesman Sean Braisted said that Clayton is “a perennial candidate” who was on the primary ballot in 2008, “didn’t do anything… so he filed again.”
Braisted said Clayton is vice president of a hate group called Public Advocate of the United States.