Tennessee: Robin Smith to make 'major announcement'

Tennessee: Robin Smith to make 'major announcement'

June 30th, 2009 by Matt Wilson in Local - Breaking News

By Matt Wilson

Ms. Smith has said she is leaning toward running for the U.S. House seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., but she has not formally announced her candidacy. Rep. Wamp is running for governor.

Former Tennessee Republican Party chairwoman Robin Smith will make a "major announcement" Wednesday at stops in all 11 counties in the state's 3rd Congressional District, according to a news release.

Mark Winslow, Mrs. Smith's chief of staff at the state party, who was listed on the release, stopped short of saying whether Mrs. Smith plans to formally announced she is running for 3rd District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., who is running for governor.

"Like I said, we'll let that play out," said Mr. Winslow. "But I'd say you can pretty much divine where this is going."

According to the news release, Mrs. Smith's first stop will be at 7 a.m. at New York Restaurant in Copperhill. After a 9 a.m. stop at the Little Old Fort Inn in Cleveland, she will be in Chattanooga at noon at Wally's Restaurant, 1600 McCallie Ave.

She then heads north, hitting stops in Meigs, Rhea, Roane, Jefferson, Grainer, Anderson, Union and Claiborne counties.

Other Republicans who have already declared they are running include Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble; Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleischmann and Chattanooga engineer Tommy Crangle.

Democratic candidates include former Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers of Oak Ridge and Chattanooga computer systems analyst Brent Benedict.

Staff writer Andy Sher contributed to this story.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press