Former Tennessee Republican Party chair Robin Smith reaffirmed to Nooga.com that, by the end of November, she will have made a move either into or definitively away from the 2012 GOP primary race for U.S. House of Representatives in Tennessee’s 3rd District.
Some might see Smith’s recent trip to Washington, D.C., where she met with “‘individuals, encouragers, and donors,'” as providing a hint at which direction she may be leaning. It could just as well be a signal that someone talked her out of it, but it seems like she would just go ahead and announce a declination to run and get on with the holidays. Please note that I’ve been wrong before.
Others thinking about becoming candidates in this race include Chattanooga attorney J.B. Bennett and Army officer and restaurateur Savas Kyriakidis (the latter ran as an independent in 2010); and there is a draft movement to entice former Tennessee College Republicans president Tres Wittum to run.
The Nooga article correctly observes that redistricting could change the 3rd District’s boundaries; but in terms of an impact to potential candidates, that only mildly affects where to go to ask for votes. Hamilton County is where half the voters live (in the current district), and it’s not going anywhere. A candidate is not required to live in the district in order to run or to serve.
The incumbent, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, was elected in 2010 after having narrowly defeated Smith in a crowded primary. Two candidates have declared as Fleischmann’s opponents in the Republican primary: Dr. Jean Howard-Hill and Weston Wamp.