The man disavowed by the Tennessee Democratic Party to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in November says he's determined to show he's a viable candidate.
The party announced last week that it will not support Democratic nominee Mark Clayton because the 35-year-old belongs to an anti-gay hate group.
Clayton reported raising no money and campaigned little yet received more than 48,000 votes in last Thursday's primary.
Clayton is vice president of Falls Church, Va.-based Public Advocate of the United States, which calls itself a conservative advocacy group. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the organization an anti-gay hate group.
However, Clayton told The Associated Press on Monday that his supporters don't consider the organization to be a hate group and "like what Public Advocate is doing."
Clayton is an anti-gay activist, extremely pro-life and is also a conspiracy theorist. His main platform includes ending an Orwellian super state that will swallow America whole and shut down the TSA.
Democratic Party leaders said he is not a viable opponent and none of the other candidates, including former Empty Nest star Park Overall, got enough visibility to garner support.
In a statement, the Democratic Party added:
"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."
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). TheAssociated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
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