Thursday was all disappointing for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
First, the freshman Republican was forced to cancel a long-planned, “get-out-the-vote” rally featuring Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.
The reason? A vote on an important defense spending bill originally slated for Friday was rescheduled to Thursday night.
House leadership announced the change Thursday afternoon while Fleischmann was in Chattanooga, so the congressman traveled to Atlanta to catch the first available plane to Washington, staffers said.
But a flight cancellation and several delays later, the House passed a defense appropriations bill for fiscal 2013 without the representative from Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District.
Through a spokesman, Fleischmann said he did all he could to make the vote — canceling a key campaign event in the process — but found himself in circumstances beyond his control.
Campaign spokesman Jordan Powell said Fleischmann’s staff “will do everything we can” to reschedule with Huckabee.
Republicans Ron Bhalla, Scottie Mayfield and Weston Wamp are running against Fleischmann in the Aug. 2 GOP primary. Democrats Mary Headrick and Bill Taylor are fighting for their party’s nomination, and independent Matthew Deniston also is in the race.