U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp told members of a Republican club Monday that he's ahead in the 2010 governor's race in "every metric of this campaign except money."
"I would argue today that that shouldn't be the final arbiter," Rep. Wamp, R-Tenn., told the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club.
The Chattanooga congressman went on to say that Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue was outspent $20 million to $3 million in his successful 2002 race for the governor's seat. Gov. Perdue ran in the general election against incumbent Democrat Roy Barnes.
Rep. Wamp and his supporters have stated that they believe Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam will outspend Rep. Wamp in the lead-up to the GOP primary.
Jeremy Harrell, spokesman for the Haslam campaign, said he preferred not to respond directly to Rep. Wamp's comments.
"We're very happy with the progress of our campaign," he said.
Rep. Wamp also took aim at another of his primary opponents, Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons.
"I honestly believe I can carry Shelby County in this primary," Rep. Wamp said.
Josh Thomas, campaign manager for Mr. Gibbons, said the campaign is "very comfortable" that Mr. Gibbons can win his home county. But Mr. Thomas said the Gibbons campaign is taking nothing for granted.
Rep. Wamp told Pachyderm members that they shouldn't take the governor's seat for granted, either.
"The Democrats are not going to just give it to us," he said.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, also a gubernatorial candidate, in March told Pachyderm Club members that the winner of the GOP primary would be the next governor.
His campaign could not be reached for comment Monday.
Former state Rep. Kim McMillan, D-Clarksville, and Nashville businessman Ward Cammack have announced bids to run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.