Tennessee: Wamp files for gubernatorial bid; Kisber weighs race

Tennessee: Wamp files for gubernatorial bid; Kisber weighs race

January 17th, 2009 by Andy Sher in Local Regional News

U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., filed paperwork Friday to formally begin his campaign for governor while a Democrat who helped bring Volkswagen to Chattanooga said he may consider running.

Rep. Wamp, a Chattanooga congressman, filed an appointment of treasurer with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance, allowing him to begin fundraising for the 2010 race.

"Taking these early steps to become Tennessee's next governor helps me go right to work listening to and learning from Tennesseans all across our state about their thoughts, concerns and priorities," Rep. Wamp said in a news release.

He also announce his new Web site (www.zachWamp.com) is up and running, complete with Facebook and Twitter functions.

Meanwhile, state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber said he has "had some people talking to me about it (running for governor)." He said he remains "focused on the job I'm doing and I'll wait to see what happens in the months ahead."

Mr. Kisber played one of the leading roles among local, state and federal officials involved in landing the VW auto assembly plant to Chattanooga's Enterprise South industrial park. The plant is expected to cost $1 billion and employ 2,000 people initially.

The commissioner said, "I've learned in politics not to rule anything out. But I've got my hands full in what I'm doing right now, and it's important to focus on what's in front of me."

Since announcing his intention to run for governor last week, Rep. Wamp has criss-crossed the state, visiting West Tennessee on Monday and Nashville on Tuesday.

Rep. Wamp becomes the fifth person to file his appointment of treasurer, according to the Registry's executive director, Drew Rawlins.

Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, a Republican, filed on Tuesday as did Democratic businessman Ward Cammack of Nashville, Mr. Rawlins said. Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, a Republican, filed papers Jan. 8 while Basil Marceaux of Chattanooga, a perennial candidate for office, filed on Oct. 7.