NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Tennessee Democratic Party says despite winning the nomination for the United States Senate, they won't support Mark Clayton. When voters head to the polls this November, there will be two names to choose from in the U.S. Senate race: incumbent Republican Senator Bob Corker and Democrat Mark Clayton.
"I want to use my education to go to Congress, and my experience on Capitol Hill to go and defend the average person that is like me, that's living like me, and faces the same things that I face," said Mark Clayton (D) U.S. Senate Nominee.
At his first official press conference Saturday, Clayton credited his primary victory to shaking many hands and appealing to average voters, not the placement of his name on the ballot as the Democratic Party contends.
Clayton thanked everyone from President Obama to the people who bought Chick-fil-a sandwiches.
He is standing firm in his nomination and says that his detractors have simply underestimated him. The day after Mark Clayton won the Democratic primary he held a press conference defending his victory and affiliation with an organization some are calling a hate group.
"So if Public Advocate is a hate group, then the state of Tennessee is a hate group, because it's in our constitution that marriage is between a man and a woman," said Clayton.
Clayton defended Public Advocate's record. He says the group focuses on pushing pro-life legislation, defending marriage between a man and a woman and even advocating for the Boy Scouts of America.
He insists they are nota hate group. However, a spokesman for Clayton did have strong words for State Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester.
They claim by using party resources to attack a "duly elected candidate" Forrester violated federal campaign law.
"We ask for his immediate dismissal or resignation. If we don't have that resignation by the end of business on Monday, we will be filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission," said Rick Simpkins, a spokesman for Clayton.
The Tennessee Democratic Party issued this statement:
"Chip Forrester has broken no laws and will not be resigning. The results of the election have not been certified, so Mark Clayton has not been "duly elected" or nominated to anything yet.
The Tennessee Democratic Party will continue to remind voters that Mark Clayton does not speak for the TNDP or Tennessee Democrats.