published Monday, April 26th, 2010

Hopefuls squabble over support

by Dan Whisenhunt


* What: Huck for Chuck Rally with Mike Huckabee

* When: 2 p.m. Wednesday

* Where: Lee University, 1120 North Ocoee St., Cleveland

There's only one Mike Huckabee, and there's not enough of him to go around for two Republicans vying to be the party's nominee in the 3rd Congressional District race.

The former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate will be in Chattanooga this week to stump for Chuck Fleischmann, a Chattanooga attorney.

But a supporter of another candidate, former state Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith, claims the real Huckabee supporters are behind her.Mrs. Smith's campaign manager, Chris Meekins, said Mr. Huckabee endorsed Mr. Fleischmann because he employs people who worked for past Huckabee campaigns. Chip Saltsman, a campaign consultant for Mr. Fleischmann, and Jordan Powell, a campaign spokesman, both worked for Mr. Huckabee.

But Mr. Powell said his and Mr. Saltsman's ties to Mr. Huckabee have nothing to do with the endorsement.

"At the end of the day, he believes Chuck will make the best representative," Mr. Powell said.

At the heart of the disagreement is an April 6 news release endorsing Mrs. Smith, reportedly from Team Huck Tennessee, a grassroots arm of Huck PAC, Mr. Huckabee's political action committee.

The author of the news release, coordinator Ted Boyatt, resigned from Team Huck three hours after writing it. Mr. Boyatt, who lives outside the 3rd District, is a political science major at the University of Tennessee.

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

On the same day as the Boyatt news release went out, the Team Huck Web site posted an endorsement of Mr. Fleischmann.

Mr. Boyatt said his endorsement shows the "real people in Tennessee" are behind Mrs. Smith.

J. Hogan Gidley, executive director of Huck PAC, characterized the Boyatt endorsement as one former coordinator going rogue.

The biggest beneficiaries of the rift appear to be the state Democratic Party.

Chairman Chip Forrester said fighting among the Republican candidates "continues to bode well for our Democratic nominee in November."

Democrats who have filed are educator Brenda Short, Dr. Brent Staton and attorney John Wolfe.

Charles Bullock, political science professor at the University of Georgia, said as endorsements go, Mr. Huckabee is as reliable as it comes.

"I think he's generally popular enough that he's more of an asset than a liability," Dr. Bullock said.

Mr. Fleischmann and Mrs. Smith are among eight Republicans vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., who is running for governor.

Other candidates in the GOP primary are Cleveland businessman Art Rhodes, Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble, Chattanooga area businessman Tommy Crangle, attorney Van Irion, educator Jean Howard-Hill and retired Air Force Capt. Rick Kernea.

Two independents, engineer Greg Goodwin and businessman Mark DeVol, also are running.

The 3rd District covers 11 counties from the Kentucky to Georgia borders and includes Chattanooga, Cleveland and Oak Ridge.

The general election is Nov. 2.

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


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.