U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander didn’t acknowledge his tea party opponent by name much in the Republican primary, but he has an eye out for Democratic challenger Gordon Ball in the general election.

With the Nov. 4 election looming, Alexander drew the contrast between his platform and a liberal stance he tied to Ball.

“The primary was a family discussion. Now the differences are real,” Alexander said during a lunch rally at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Knoxville on Monday.

Alexander rattled off the contrasts: He is backed by the National Rifle Association; Ball is not. Alexander is anti-abortion; Ball is for abortion rights.

Alexander voted against Obamacare, he said, but Ball is a supporter. Ball backs unions, while Alexander said he supports the state’s right-to-work laws.

Alexander was among many of his Republican friends at the event. Introductions took 10 minutes to name off all the gathered elected officials and GOP party members.

“Knox County is the center of the universe for the Republican party in Tennessee,” Alexander said.

U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville, was among the dignitaries who spoke while introducing the Senator.

“He is a workhorse, not a showhorse,” Duncan said.

Work continues for Alexander on the campaign trail this week, one of his staffers said, with planned stops in the Tri-Cities today and in Nashville on Thursday.

Alexander, a Maryville native, served as governor of Tennessee from 1979-1987 and was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002.

Ball, a Knoxville attorney and native of Cocke County, is running his second attempt at a congressional seat. He previously ran for office in 1978 and lost to then-incumbent U.S. Rep. Jimmy Quillen.