With longtime, able and admirable Congressman Zach Wamp having decided not to run for re-election this year, choosing to run instead for governor of Tennessee, there has been a rush of candidates who would like to represent Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District in Washington.
There are 21 congressional candidates -- count 'em!
* Eleven are running for the Republican nomination in their party primary Aug. 5.
They are, in alphabetical order, Tommy Crangle, Chuck Fleischmann, Tim Gobble, Harvey Howard, Jean Howard-Hill, Van Irion, Rick Kernea, Basil Marceaux Sr., Art Rhodes, Robin Smith and Grover Travillian.
* Four are seeking to win the Democratic nomination in their party primary Aug. 5.
They are Alicia Mitchell, Brenda Freeman Short, Brent Davis Staton and John Wolfe.
* Six candidates are runnin xg as independents, to join the Republican and Democrat nominees in the November general election showdown.
They are Don Barkman, Mark DeVol, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries, Mo Kiah and Savas T. Kyriakidis.
Some of the 21 candidates have been busy, organizing their campaigns, making voter contacts, raising funds, giving statements on the issues, explaining their positions and shaking hands. Others have not done much to increase their "visibility." Some of the candidates are significant and sound in their principles. Some remain virtually "unknown."
There is not much time for candidates to introduce themselves in detail before Aug. 5 -- and for voters to become informed about their philosophies, qualifications and what they would like to do if elected to represent us in Congress.
Some of the candidates have come to the Times Free Press to introduce themselves to the public through our news columns, answering questions and making statements to inform voters. Some have not generated much attention.
The decisions that voters in the 3rd Congressional District make in the August primaries and the November general election will be very important as our new member of Congress goes to Washington to represent us for the next two years.
We have begun to report their views in our news columns, with more information to come.
May all of us as voters seek to inform ourselves to make the best choice for our home district and our nation as a whole.