Wamp announces 'statewide leadership team' backing bid

Wamp announces 'statewide leadership team' backing bid

June 24th, 2009 in News

DOC: Zach Wamp Statewide Leadership Team

NASHVILLE -- U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., on Tuesday released a list of 250 people who are on his "statewide leadership team" as he seeks the 2010 Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The list includes five state legislators and four former state commissioners, as well as a number of elected county officials and businessmen from Hamilton County and across the state.

"I am very pleased and honored that so many local leaders in every corner of our state are willing to lend their time, talent and treasure to our campaign so early and to help us build our winning campaign organization in their local counties and communities," the Chattanooga congressman said in a statement.

"These folks are not just passive supporters," he said. "They are active volunteers who believe as I do that with a clear 20/20 vision for Tennessee's future, we can create the kinds of jobs and opportunities we need to grow our state's economy, to put folks back to work, to keep our taxes low and to raise family incomes for all Tennesseans."

Those on the list include state Reps. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga; Vince Dean, R-East Ridge; Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland; Eric Watson, R-Cleveland; and Chad Faulkner, R-Luttrell.

Former state Tourism Commissioner John Wade, of Nashville, and former Agriculture Commissioner Jere Griggs are listed, as are former Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Baxter, previously announced as the Wamp campaign's state finance chairman, and Darrell Akins, of Knoxville, who co-hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Wamp earlier this year and whose firm, AkinsCrisp Public Strategies, is working with the congressman.

Local Republican officials backing the Wamp gubernatorial bid include Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, Hamilton County Property Assessor Bill Bennett and Hamilton County Trustee Carl Levi.

Also listed are former Reps. David Coffey and Bruce Cantrell, two Republican legislators from the Oak Ridge area, which Rep. Wamp represents.

Local businessmen include Chattanooga developer John "Thunder" Thornton, a Wamp fundraiser, as well as developer Bill Raines and Lewis Card. Others include Signal Mountain resident Tom Decosimo of Joseph Decosimo & Co., whose father, Joe Decosimo, recently said he is backing Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam's GOP gubernatorial bid.

Other Republicans running for the GOP nomination are Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, and Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons.

Democrats seeking their party's gubernatorial nomination are Nashville businessman Ward Cammack; state Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden; former state House Majority Leader Kim McMillan, D-Clarksville; and West Tennessee businessman Mike McWherter, son of former Gov. Ned McWherter.