With the exception of judicial retention votes, the contests for governor and the U.S. Senate are the only statewide elections held in Tennessee. Both parties have multiple candidates in those races this year, though the number of candidates is no indication of competitiveness.

The Republican Senate primary is generating the most interest. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is being challenged by state Rep. Joe Carr of Lacsassas. Other names are on the ballot, but the race boils down to Alexander and Carr.

Alexander is by far the best choice to represent Tennesseans in the Senate. He has long been a force in Tennessee and national politics, serving as Tennessee’s governor for two terms, U.S. Secretary of Education and president of the University of Tennessee. He was first elected to the Senate in 2002. His breadth of experience and solid leadership have served Tennesseans well in the 36 years since he was first elected governor.

Carr is supported by tea party organizations and a good number of his colleagues in the Tennessee Legislature. He was first elected to office in 2008, so his experience falls far short of Alexander’s.

Alexander’s prudent approach to solving the nation’s problems reflects the state’s pragmatic streak and should appeal to the vast majority of GOP voters.