Dairy executive Scottie Mayfield today said he has hired a well-connected campaign consultant to formulate a strategy to defeat U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
Tommy Hopper, a former Tennessee Republican Party chairman who once consulted for former Gov. Don Sundquist, has agreed to advise Mayfield on a paid basis for his campaign in the GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District, Mayfield said.
Hopper met with Mayfield and "six or seven family and friends" a week before the dairy mogul confirmed his bid for Congress Friday, Mayfield said.
"He obviously has experience and a good record," said Mayfield, president of Athens, Tenn.-based Mayfield Dairy. "I just felt comfortable with him."
Hopper could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hopper had a similar politically inexperienced client in 2010 - Frog Jump, Tenn., farmer Stephen Fincher, who won Tennessee's 8th Congressional District race after hiring Hopper.
Fincher was the first Republican to win the district since 1973. He did not have any political experience before running for Congress.
Hopper served as state GOP chairman between 1991-92, newspaper archives show.
For complete details, read tomorrow's Times Free Press.