Robin Smith says she will not run for the 3rd District Congressional seat but will focus on her consulting business. More to come.
UPDATE 2: Weston Wamp, the young son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp (who was in office until early this calendar year), has entered the race to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, and has attracted a fair showing of support.
Dr. Jean Howard-Hill rounds out the slate, as she is repeating her 2010 run for the GOP nomination.
Chattanooga attorney J.B. Bennett, Maj. Savas Kyriakidis (who ran as an independent in 2010), and former Tennessee College Republicans chair Tres Wittum are reportedly considering a run in this primary as well.
To date, no Democrats, independents, or third party candidates have declared in this race.
Candidates have until April to qualify for the August 2012 primary. The general election will be held on November 6, 2012.
UPDATE 1: The press release from Smith:
Chattanooga, TN- Robin Smith, 2010 Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District in an 11-candidate primary field, announced today her plans do not include pursuing the GOP nomination in next year’s primary race in August. “I will not run for the 3rd District Congressional seat in 2012,” Smith told WGOW’s Morning Press host team. “While every conversation I have had with supporters, advisors, and donors has been incredibly encouraging to run again, opportunities in the private sector and in working in the area of public policy are available that may never materialize again,” Smith continued.
The former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman that turned Tennessee “a deeper shade of red” in the unprecedented elections of 2008 ran in the open-seat vacated by former Congressman Zach Wamp in his run for Tennessee’s Governor. Smith raised approximately $723,000 from individual donors and conservative organizations losing by fewer than 1500 votes in the expansive district including parts of eleven counties, touching four separate states. “The new district that will result from the 2012 redistricting process will most likely be a very favorable district for a challenger to run against a newly-elected incumbent. However, the private sector opportunities could not wait until January’s unveiling of the new district lines,” Smith noted.
Responding to inquiries if this was an indication of her exit from politics, Mrs. Smith, quipped, “Ironically, a future run against candidates with a record versus the vagueness of blank slates may prove much easier. I’ve never been known to run for cover.”
With over twenty-one years of grassroots politics as her platform, Robin Smith highlighted her continued commitment to servant leadership: “Since toting a 6-month-old daughter on my hip as I volunteered in local politics, there has been one driving factor that remains my driving force…serve others with integrity and produce results that provide a lasting impact. Institutions are only as strong and honorable as those who serve.” Offering a bit of advice draped in humor, Smith concluded, “My kids know that I’ve never asked of anyone that which I wasn’t first willing to do. In other words, servant leadership leaves a legacy; climbing the ladder leaves tread marks!”