Frist not anxious about elections

From staff reports

   As election time approaches, Sen. Bill Frist believes the battle for the U.S. Senate seat between former governor Lamar Alexander and Ed Bryant, a Democrat, shouldn't worry Republican minds. "I'm not concerned that this election is going to cost Republicans a Senate seat. I think it's important to have a good debate. It's a healthy and important part of the process," he said. Frist spoke with reporters during a teleconference on Wednesday.
   Alexander and Bryant are competing for the U.S. Senate seat held by Thompson, who won't be running for re-election. Many Republicans in the state feel that their party's power in this race hinges on who wins.
   Frist also confirmed that former Vice President Al Gore will be running in the 2004 presidential election. "I think he's taking a calculated risk taking the president one on one, recognizing he can't get to the platform he wanted as vice president," he said. Frist is doubtful, though, that Gore's approach will sit well with the typical Tennessean, since the state is so strongly supportive of President Bush right now.
   Regardless of who is elected in November or in 2004, politicians will have important issues facing them. Frist discussed the energy bill debated on the U.S. Senate floor this week, as well as the repeal of the death tax, which should be decided in June. "I think it's important to stay focused on the issues, regardless of party affiliation," he said.