Gordon Ball, the Democratic nominee running against Senator Lamar Alexander, admitted to plagiarizing ideas on his campaign website on Monday following a report in BuzzFeed revealing that Ball borrowed passages whole-cloth from websites of other elected officials.
State Republican officials are calling for Ball to drop out of the race, although Ball says there’s no chance he will — and he has no plans to apologize, either. The passages he borrowed liberally from politicians like Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are policy statements he supports. He says the fact that the words were stolen verbatim isn’t important.
Chris Devaney, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman, said the revelations are grounds for Ball to give up his Senate bid.
“Gordon Ball should quit wasting Tennesseans’ time with this fraudulent campaign,” Devaney said in a statement. “He should do us all a service and withdraw from the race immediately.”
Ball, meanwhile, dismisses the excitement.
“I don’t think it undermines my credibility one wit – at all. At the end of the day, those were good ideas that are foreign to Lamar Alexander,” Ball told WPLN on Monday.
Ball then quickly pivoted to his desire to publicly debate Alexander, something the Alexander campaign has rebuffed. Ball says Alexander’s “attack dogs and hatchet people” need to stop targeting him over frivolous matters. He says it’s a diversion from what he thinks voters really want: a public conversation about the differences between him and Alexander.