Former dairy executive Scottie Mayfield says congressional candidate Weston Wamp secretly recorded a conversation they had when Wamp came to his home to talk him out of supporting U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in the August Republican primary.
"I never dreamed somebody would walk into my house with a bug on," Mayfield said. "I don't want to say negative things about people. But I just don't think that's correct behavior."
On March 17, Mayfield threw his support behind Fleischmann. The former dairy executive said he wanted to set the record straight, because he had heard Wamp's camp was claiming Mayfield's support.
Two days before the announcement, Wamp paid Mayfield an unexpected visit to gauge his support. Mayfield was watching Sesame Street with his grandson, but he said he welcomed Wamp in.
"He was pretty aggressive with me and challenging me about saying before I was not going to support anyone," Mayfield said.
Mayfield said he didn't know how Wamp heard about the upcoming endorsement of Fleischmann, but he "must have put it together" based on a notice Fleischmann fired off about a big campaign announcement.
The conversation ended and Wamp left, Mayfield said. And Mayfield received a text message later that afternoon from Wamp again asking him to withhold any endorsements.
Later that evening, he got a second message that said Wamp had recorded their conversation.
Mayfield declined to forward the text to a reporter, but he read it aloud, giving the time it was recieved and the number from which it came.
"To protect myself, I have recorded my conversation with you and Lisa. I hope you will honor your commitment and not get involved in this race. Thank you sir," Mayfield said.
The text was sent at 7:14 p.m. on March 15, he said. A call to the number Mayfield gave went to Wamp's voicemail, which was full.
Mayfield said he was upset that Wamp had recorded him. He thought they were having a private conversation.
Wamp did not immediately respond to a text and email requesting comment.
Read more in Saturday's Chattanooga Times Free Press.