Zach Wamp to lead Marco Rubio's Tennessee campaign

Zach Wamp to lead Marco Rubio's Tennessee campaign

June 30th, 2015 by Louie Brogdon in Local Regional News

Zach Wamp and Marco Rubio are pictured in this composite photo.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has tapped former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp to lead his campaigning efforts in the Volunteer State.

Rubio announced the pick Monday on Twitter.

"Excited to have former Congressman @zachwamp leading our efforts for #TeamMarcoTN," he said.

Wamp told Hamilton County Pachyderm Club members Monday he was honored to accept the post. He said Rubio, a 44-year-old Cuban American, represents what's ahead for the Republican party, not "what's in the rear-view mirror."

"If we nominate someone in the rear-view mirror, or a retread or someone whose turn it is, I predict we will not win an election this generation," Wamp said.

The so-called millennial generation, which includes roughly those who are 18 to 35, needs a reason to become Republican, Wamp said. And without them the party will perish.

"If we don't nominate a candidate who speaks directly to that generation, we will lose the largest generation in our nation's history," he said.

Wamp represented Tennessee's 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2011, at which point he lost the Tennessee governor's race to Bill Haslam.

Wamp is now a consultant in the energy, defense and transportation sectors.

Rubio is one of a host of Republican candidates seeking the 2016 presidential nomination from the GOP. More than a dozen Republicans have said they were seeking the job, including former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and others.

In 2012, Santorum took the Volunteer State, with a strong lead. Mitt Romney, who ultimately received the nomination but lost the election, was nearly 10 points behind Santorum in the primary race.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com, @glbrogdoniv on Twitter or at 423-757-6481.