NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A conservative Tennessee auto dealer is launching a super PAC to support Andy Ogles’ bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Bob Corker.
Ogles is the former state director of Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch’s network. He declared his candidacy last week, and his campaign on Tuesday announced the formation of the super PAC run by Lee Beaman, a Nashville Toyota dealer.
Super PACs can take unlimited contributions from wealthy donors, but they may not coordinate with the campaigns.
Corker has not yet announced whether he will seek a third term. Two people familiar with a White House discussion between the senator and president last week told The Associated Press that Trump urged Corker to run during the meeting.
Beaman said he plans to raise $4 million to support Ogles, citing his support for tighter border security, repealing former President Barack Obama’s health care law and cutting taxes and regulation. Beaman said in a release that the goal is “to provide President Trump with an ally in the U.S. Senate that he will be able to depend upon.”
Beaman contributed a total of $6,100 to Corker’s campaigns in 2006 and 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Since 2005 he has also given $42,500 to the Automotive Free International Trade PAC, a group that advocated for the Trans Pacific Partnership deal scuttled by Trump earlier this year.
Beaman was a financial supporter of failed efforts to make English the mandatory language in Nashville in 2009, and as president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Boy Scouts of America in 2013 opposed efforts to lift a long-standing ban on openly gay members.
Beaman is also a contributor to Americans for Prosperity, where he said he got to know Ogles.
“I know first-hand his tireless commitment to conservative issues and am excited about sharing what I know with donors and activists across the country,” he said.