Mark E. Clayton

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Mark E. Clayton (born c. 1976) is the Democratic nominee in the 2012 United States Senate election in Tennessee. He faces the Republican incumbent Robert Corker in the November 6 general election.

Disowned by his party leadership

On August 2, 2012, Clayton received his party's nomination with roughly 30 percent of the vote in a multi-candidate field. After the victory, the Tennessee Democratic Party disowned the nominee because of his conservative and libertarian philosophy.[1] The Tennessee Democratic leadership also objects to Clayton's vice-presidency[2] of the socially conservative interest group, the Public Advocate of the United States, based in Washington, D.C. The Public Advocate has been designated a "hate group" by the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, operated by Morris Dees.[3]

According to the party:

The only time that Clayton has voted in a Democratic primary was ... [to vote] for himself. Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race; so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket. Unfortunately, none of the other Democratic candidates was able to run the race needed to gain statewide visibility or support. Mark Clayton is associated with a known hate group in Washington, D.C., and the Tennessee Democratic Party disavows his candidacy, will not do anything to promote or support him in any way, and urges Democrats to write in a candidate of their choice in November.[4]

Clayton's political stands

In 2008, Clayton ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination to challenge Tennessee's other U.S. senator, moderate RepublicanLamar Alexander, a former governor of Tennessee and an ex-United States Secretary of Education whom Clayton then described as a "neo-conservative".[5]

Clayton's political positions include opposition to the North American Union, the NAFTA superhighway, and the national ID card. He has warned that America faces a "godless "New World Order" and that Americans who speak out against the government run the risk of being sent to "prison camps" operated by the Federal Emergency Management Association. He has spoken out against Chinese oppression of the Tibetan people.[5]

The Public Advocate proclaimed that it "associates with members of both major parties in a non-partisan fashion and promotes traditional values". The organization contends that Clayton showed that "an American patriot can put his or her name on the ballot and win big as a conservative, even in the Democratic Party."[6]

A Clayton spokesman argued that the Tennessee party had violated the law by using its resources to attack one of its own candidates. The Clayton campaign promised to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.[7]

Clayton, who is single, maintains his official residence in Whites Creek in Davidson County near Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated in pre-law from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida.[2][8]

Clayton carries the endorsement in his Senate campaign of the pastor Chuck Baldwin of Montana, the 2008 Constitution Party presidential nominee.