NASHVILLE —; Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said Wednesday he will not seek the 11 th Senate District seat, but fellow Rep. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said he is continuing to explore a run.
Sen. David Fowler, R-Signal Mountain, announced Tuesday that he will not seek a fourth Senate term this year.
"I’m going to run for re-election to my House seat," freshman Rep. McCormick, 44, said.
Rep. Watson, 45, said he intends to spend the next several days talking to his employer, family and others in the community.
"I’m leaning towards getting in the race but still haven’t made all my decisions on that," he said. "There’s still quite a few bases left to touch before making a final decision."
Rep. Watson said he expects to reach a decision next week.
The 11th District includes Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain and is considered by GOP officials to be staunchly Republican.
But Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Stuart James said he thinks a "Bredesen-type ... conservative Democrat who could talk about conservative economic policy and education" could mount a credible race.
Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Clem, R-Lookout Mountain, said he does not intend to run for the Senate seat. Rep. Clem announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election to the House.
Political observers said Chattanooga attorney Jeffrey Atherton has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate.
Efforts to reach him Wednesday were unsuccessful. Earlier this year, Mr. Atherton picked up qualifying petitions for a Circuit Court judgeship.
Former Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman J. Wayne Cropp, an attorney and businessman, said Tuesday that he is interested in running for the GOP nomination.
Rep. McCormick said he has unfinished business in the House.
"If the people want me to serve another term, I’m going to serve another term in the state House," he said.