Tenn. GOP fundraiser Welch dies at 80

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ted Welch, a prolific fundraiser in Tennessee Republican politics for four decades, has died. He was 80.

Welch's wife, Colleen Conway-Welch, told The Tennessean he died due to complications from a fall. Vanderbilt Medical Center Hospital in Nashville confirmed Welch died at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

Welch started raising money for candidates in 1970 for Winfield Dunn's winning run for governor. His efforts covered the modern campaigns of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam. He also worked with senators Howard Baker, Bill Brock, Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Republicans at the state level.

His friend, U.S. Lamar Alexander, said in a written statement that Welch raised millions for candidates, symphonies and charitable causes without seeking anything in return.

Alexander says Welch will be missed.

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