Former aide Saltsman vindicated by Tennessee Court of Appeals

Court upholds dismissal of 2010 campaign defamation suit against U.S. Rep. Fleischmann

Chip Saltsman, from left, Chuck Fleischmann

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Court of Appeals last week upheld the dismissal of a nearly 5-year-old defamation lawsuit filed by former state GOP Executive Director Mark Winslow against U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., and his 2010 campaign manager, John "Chip" Saltsman.

The suit grew out of the 3rd Congressional District's bitter 2010 GOP primary, a multicandidate slugfest in which Winslow managed the campaign of former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith.

Fleischmann eked out a victory over Smith. In January 2011, Winslow filed suit against Saltsman and the state Republican Party. He charged he had been defamed in Fleischmann campaign ads and by Saltsman's public comments.

Winslow also charged the state Republican Party violated confidential agreements on a buyout. Fleischmann was added later to the lawsuit. The state GOP settled out of court in 2013.

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