Chattanooga: Wamp says fireworks expected in congressional race

Chattanooga: Wamp says fireworks expected in congressional race

May 3rd, 2010 by Dan Whisenhunt in Local - Breaking News

U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp stopped by the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club to talk about flooding in Tennessee, but he also addressed the rough-and-tumble Republican primary for his 3rd Congressional District seat.

The nomination fight will be tough, he said, because candidates must show how they're different from their opponents. But he said a Republican will likely win the seat.

"Iron sharpens iron," Rep. Wamp said today. "Sometimes sparks fly. People shouldn't let that bother them as much as making sure that we are in position to bring everyone together after the primary."

Candidates Robin Smith, the former state Republican Party chairwoman, and attorney Chuck Fleischmann are locked in a bitter primary struggle for the party nomination. Both campaigns went into overdrive last week when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came to town to stump for Mr. Fleischmann.

Mrs. Smith's campaign said it's Mr. Huckabee's connections to the Fleischmann camp that brought him to the state and also hinted that the former governor was paid to come to Tennessee. Mr. Fleischmann has hit back, saying Mrs. Smith's claims are not true. Mr. Huckabee also accused Mrs. Smith of being dishonest.

Rep. Wamp is giving up his congressional seat to run for governor.