published Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Huckabee tapes TV ad for Fleischmann


by Dan Whisenhunt

Mike Huckabee had a busy schedule last month when he came to Chattanooga to stump for Republican 3rd Congressional District Candidate Chuck Fleischmann, including the taping of a 30-second commercial for Mr. Fleischmann.

The ad, which launched Tuesday, features Mr. Huckabee explaining why Mr. Fleischmann would be a good fit for U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp's congressional seat. Rep. Wamp is vacating the seat to run for governor.

In the commercial, Mr. Huckabee says Mr. Fleischmann, an attorney, runs a business and has raised a family and will protect the values conservatives hold dear such as the right to life and preservation of marriage.

"D.C. insiders and politicians have gotten us in this mess," Mr. Huckabee says in the commercial. "Chuck's the kind of guy who will get us out of it."

3RD DISTRICT CANDIDATES

* Republicans

Tommy Crangle, Chuck Fleischmann, Tim Gobble, Harvey Howard, Jean Howard-Hill, Van Irion, Rick Kernea, Basil Marceaux Sr., Art Rhodes, Robin Smith, Grover Travillian

* Democrats

Alicia Mitchell, Brenda Freeman Short, Brent Davis Staton, John Wolfe

* Independents

Don Barkman, Mark DeVol, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries, Mo Kiah, Savas T. Kyriakidis

Source: Tennessee Department of State

Chip Saltsman, a Fleischmann campaign consultant who formerly worked for Huckabee, said the ad will run district-wide on the Fox News network.

Chris Meekins, campaign manager for former state party chairwoman Robin Smith, who also is running for the 3rd District seat, didn't lob any grenades at the television spot. The two campaigns have had a war of words over Mr. Huckabee's endorsement, with Mrs. Smith's camp insinuating that Mr. Fleischmann got Mr. Huckabee's endorsement because he employs former Huckabee staffers.

"Tennesseans are embracing Robin's proven track record of leadership," Mr. Meekins said. "She led the Republican party to take the House and Senate in Tennessee for the first time in 140 years. That's the proven conservative leadership they're looking for."

Chip Forrester, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the ad is typical of the anti-Washington sentiment this election cycle. He said none of the Democratic candidates in the 3rd District Race are "professional politicians."

Click here to view Mike Huckabee's endorsement ad.

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 ...

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