U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann will have a special guest at a Chattanooga fundraiser meant to boost re-election efforts: House Speaker John Boehner.
The Walden Club, the high-rise downtown restaurant, will host the Oct. 27 fundraiser. Other details, including the guest list and cost to attend, were still undetermined Wednesday. The event won't be open to the public.
Aides for Fleischmann have been trying to finalize details for public release ever since hearing news that Weston Wamp, the 24-year-old son of longtime U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, would challenge their boss in next year's Republican primary.
In a Saturday story exploring the Wamp rumors, The Nashville Post reported that Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, would appear at a Fleischmann event, citing sources.
Jordan Powell, Fleischmann's spokesman, stressed that Boehner decided to stump for Fleischmann before Wamp entered the race. But Powell also said the speaker's plans "stayed the same" after he heard Wamp's announcement.
"Chuck is thankful [Boehner] is taking time out to come support him," Powell said.
In an emailed statement, Boehner spokesman Cory Fritz said "Speaker Boehner is looking forward to visiting Tennessee later this month for Chuck and will continue doing everything in his power to support Republicans who are fighting in Congress to get our economy back to creating jobs."
The move is in keeping with prior events engineered to bolster Fleischmann's political clout. Last year, Fleischmann's primary campaign picked up steam after former Arkansas governor and presidential nominee Mike Huckabee made a speech in Chattanooga on Fleischmann's behalf. Chip Saltsman, Fleischmann's chief of staff, managed Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.
The speaker will arrive in Chattanooga two months after negotiating a contentious debt ceiling deal with President Barack Obama. Fleischmann originally supported Boehner's plan, but he voted against the final agreement. The vote was 269-161.
Wamp and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga political science professor Jean Howard-Hill, both Republicans, are Fleischmann's opponents. No Democrat or third-party candidate has jumped in.
According to the most recent financial disclosures, Fleischmann has $261,470 in cash on hand, including $147,040 raised between March and June.
Chris Carroll covers federal politics for the Times Free Press. A Chattanooga native, he went to Red Bank High School and graduated with honors from East Tennessee State University. Chris investigated violent crime, municipal government and hospitals before taking the political beat. For tornado coverage, he and Pam Sohn won a first-place Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors deadline reporting award. In 2010, Chris won the Golden Press Card Award of Merit and another deadline reporting ...
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