Ed Bryant vows to remain in U.S. Senatorial race

From Staff Reports

   Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Ed Bryant has announced that he will remain in the race to succeed Senator Fred Thompson. Bryant lambasted media reports speculating that efforts could be under way in Washington to shove him out of the election.
   There have been several reports out of Washington suggesting that a movement may be under way to have Bryant reconsider his candidacy for this race, but Bryant has no intention of backing out. "I have talked with and heard from numerous Tennesseans in recent days who are strongly encouraging me to run for the Senate and pledging me their financial and political support," Bryant said. "I must say that I value their opinions and views much more than those held by Washington's media and political establishment. If my candidacy comes down to choosing between who believes what is best for the future of Tennessee or Washington political operatives and pundits, I'll choose Tennesseans every time. I am in this race to stay."
   Bryant also stated Sen. Bill Frist has continued to assure him of his neutrality in this race and expressed appreciation for the senator's support. "It is crucial for the voters of this great state to remember that this election belongs to them, and not Washington politics. Our government is based upon the fundamental premise that it is the collective will of all voters that decides who their leaders should be. The outcome of this election should not and must not be based upon the desires of Washington insiders and a few big-money political elitists," Bryant said.
   "Although former Gov. Lamar Alexander has high name recognition across the state and the Alexander campaign has been promoting the former governor's viability with a recent poll, none of that should come as a surprise at all to any sensible follower of Tennessee politics that he has been a fixture of Republican Party politics spanning portions of four decades," said Justin Hunter, Bryant campaign manager.
   Earlier this week, various media sources reported the viability of the former governor's candidacy in an internal poll taken by the Alexander campaign. Hunter countered that the Bryant campaign has some numbers of its own and those numbers clearly indicate that there is a sizable percentage of undecided voters out there.
   The Bryant campaign has public opinion data indicating that six out of every 10 of Tennessee's Republican voters are undecided. Bryant's campaign believes that once everyone has the opportunity to see these candidates and take their records and positions into account that he has a very good chance of winning the election.