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Politics

Sen. Alexander sheds feel-good image in Tenn. race

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Gordon Ball
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Forget the syrupy, feel-good message so common to Lamar Alexander's past political campaigns. This time, the Tennessee Republican is going into attack mode.

With early voting in the U.S. Senate race set to kick off next week, the two-term incumbent has unleashed two television ads hammering his previously little-known Democratic opponent, Gordon Ball, as a proxy for President Barack Obama and as a "slick-talking personal injury lawyer."

It's a far cry from past general elections that featured ads heavy on imagery of Alexander's past triumphs as governor — or even from the recently-concluded Republican primary in which he declined to even mention his opponent by name.

Alexander campaign consultant Tom Ingram says the change in tone reflects that the primary and general campaigns are "different animals."