published Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Chattanooga: GOP governor hopefuls stump at Lincoln Day Dinner

Audio clip

Zach Wamp

Audio clip

Ron_Ramsey

Audio clip

Bill Haslam

Audio clip

Bill Gibbons

  • photo

NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s four major Republican gubernatorial hopefuls put their best foot forward when it came to themselves, but occasionally aimed a few kicks at each other Friday night at the Hamilton County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner.

It was the first collective appearance locally by Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons; Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam; Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville; and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith, of Hixson, told the crowd of about 500 at The Chattanoogan that “in this room we have the next governor of the state of Tennessee.”

During their speeches, both Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Haslam spoke of the need to reform education with Mr. Gibbons, who went first, saying Tennesseans “want a governor who’ll go in and shake up things.”

Mr. Haslam said 80 percent of Tennessee students are considered proficient on current state tests, but as few as 25 percent may be deemed proficient when new nationally based tests take effect in a year.

“The answer is to raise our standards and expectation. As a state we’re about to get slapped in the face,” the mayor said.

Lt. Gov. Ramsey, the Senate speaker, who spoke third, jabbed at Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Haslam, the perceived front-runner whose family founded Pilot Oil and are major political fundraisers.

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

Middle Tennessee State University Poll

Article: Kyle Shows Strong Numbers

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

Article: GOP governor hopefuls stump at Lincoln Day Dinner

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

Article: Wamp raises $250,000 in Knoxville

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

Article: Tennessee: Lieutenant governor considering joining gubenatorial race

Article: Ramsey says Wamp not 'catching on' in Tennessee governor’s race

Article: Tennessee: Wamp says values votes will help him

Article: Chattanooga: Wamp draws crowd, solicits support

Article: Tennessee: Wamp files for gubernatorial bid; Kisber weighs race

Article: Tennessee: Governor’s race to be a long haul

Article:Update: Rep. Wamp will seek governor's seat, asks local Pachyderm Club for support

Article:Tennessee: Wamp running for governor; Berke weighing race

Article: Frist out, Wamp in for governor

Article: The gubernatorial kickoff

Article: Tennessee: Wamp running for governor; Berke weighing race

Article: Tennessee: Race to succeed Wamp could get crowded

Poll: Would you vote for Zach Wamp to be governor of Tennessee?

Article: Tennessee: Frist out; GOP eyes 2010 race

Article: Tennessee: Wamp touts poll saying he’s top GOP pick for governor

“Mayor Haslam mentioned a lot about education,” Lt. Gov. Ramsey said. “I’m kind of a been-there, done-that kind of guy. Some of these guys can talk the talk and are good people, but I’m the only who’s been there and walked the walk.”

He touted the Senate’s recent passage of legislation expanding the pool of poorer students able to attend charter schools. The measure has been delayed in the House.

Earlier, Mr. Haslam noted how then-Chattanooga mayor and current U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., piqued his interest in public service seven years ago while the two were on vacation in Florida.

U.S. Rep. Wamp, who is from Chattanooga, said, “Let me tell you, seven years ago, public service was not a foreign idea to me, because I started 27 years ago, right there, in this county.”

The congressman earlier received a standing ovation from many in the crowd, prompting him to observe, “home court advantage. But sometimes that happens.”

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

1
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

Alright, so I listened to all 4 of those because I couldn't make it to the dinner. Wamp is simply superior on the stump. The others talk too fast for one thing and really struggle to get to the point.

If I had to rank based on that performance it would be: 1) Wamp 2) Ramsey 3) Gibbons 4) Haslam

(Gibbons and Ramsey are about equal, but Haslam seemed a very nervous in Wamp's backyard.)

May 16, 2009 at 2:15 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.