published Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Tennessee: Wamp dismisses Ramsey’s slight on gubernatorial race


by Herman Wang

WASHINGTON — Written off by a potential Republican challenger for his 2010 gubernatorial bid, Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., returned fire Friday and said his campaign is in fine shape.

“That’s wishful thinking,” Rep. Wamp said of state Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s recent comments that the gubernatorial campaign from the Chattanooga congressman is not gaining traction.

“The fact is, I am in this race for the long haul and to win,” Rep. Wamp said. “I have a tremendous amount of momentum on the grass-roots level. I have the perfect blend of political savvy and business acumen and leadership. I have an excellent record on the things that Tennesseans care about.”

Lt. Gov. Ramsey, also the Republican state senator from Blountville, this week announced that he has formed an exploratory committee to examine a possible bid for governor.

Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen cannot run again in 2010 because of term limits.

Also in the race on the Republican side are Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons.

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

Middle Tennessee State University Poll

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Article: McMillan campaign raises nearly half million

PDF: Financial disclosures for Democratic candidates for governor

PDF: Financial disclosures for Republican candidates for governor

Article: Candidate Haslam highlights his plans

Article: Cammack tells others: 'Show me the plan'

Article: Ramsey raises more than $1 million

Article: McWherter leads Dems in gubernatorial fundraising

Article: Bradley Democrats host candidates

Article: Opponents downplay funding for Haslam

PDF: Haslam_finance committee members

Article: Haslam gains backing from two Wamp allies

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Article: Gibbons lashes out at governor’s race rival Haslam

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Article: Tennessee: Prominent Democrats still undecided about gubernatorial race

Article: Davis says Appropriations seat worth giving up on gubernatorial bid

Article: Tennessee: Wamp dismisses Ramsey’s slight on gubernatorial race

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Democrats in the race include former state House Majority Leader Kim McMillan and Nashville businessman Ward Cammack.

The Kingsport Times-News reported earlier this week that Lt. Gov. Ramsey told a Greene County GOP Lincoln Day dinner audience: “I don’t think Zach is catching on” and that Rep. Wamp “was halfway aggravated” when they talked about his entry into the race.

Rep. Wamp said Lt. Gov. Ramsey’s recollection of their conversation is wrong.

“In all due respect to him, that was something that he said that I didn’t say,” Rep. Wamp said. “I’m not going to get into this back and forth with him. He’s lieutenant governor, and I think he should stay lieutenant governor because he’s a good one.”

Bill Todd, a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Ramsey, said the lieutenant governor respects all of his potential opponents.

“Like Congressman Wamp, he has no desire to engage in a back and forth on political analysis,” Mr. Todd said. “We have four strong Republican candidates and Tennessee voters will get a great opportunity over the next 17 months to compare their experience and vision.”

Rep. Wamp said he remains committed to running for governor and will not be cowed into dropping out.

“If that was anybody’s calculation, they miscalculated,” he said. “We have good people running. The more, the merrier because the voters have plenty of choice.”

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karma004 said...

"I have an excellent record on the things that Tennesseans care about.” I beg to differ here - I listened to Mr. Wamp tell a reporter (up in D.C.) that health care insurance is a "privilege" not a "right." Why is it that no local news media bothered to report this interview with Mr. Wamp's outrageous claims? It makes me so angry to know that our tax dollars are paying for Mr. Wamp to enjoy excellent health care coverage while I struggle to pay for an insurance policy that barely covers medical needs. We are one of the only industrialized nations that does not have a comprehensive health care system for its people. Mr. Wamp went on to misrepresent how national health care would be paid for, stated that half of the uninsured opt not to have covereage (duh? they can't afford it Mr. Wamp!) and is apparently clueless about how comprehensive health care would "help" our economy, not burden it. I can't imagine letting Mr. Wamp be governor of TN with this kind of mindset and attitude. As a supposed "Christian" how dare Mr. Wamp only care about the wealthy in this nation and not the rest of us? My God cares for all of us, equally.

March 7, 2009 at 10:35 a.m.
aae1049 said...

I have a question. If Zack Wamp were not a career politician, and had to earn a living in real employment, what would he do? I am not sure, he has spent decades running for offices. I do not like the fact that he is receiving a publicly funded salary as a U.S.represetative as he seeks another office, or job security. How much representation are we gettng while he pursues a long shot of being elected governor.

I would vote for a local candidate, but not Zack Wamp.

March 7, 2009 at 11:16 a.m.
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