Tag Archives: Zach Wamp

Taylor makes it a two-party race

There will be a contested general election in the 3rd Congressional District. Bill Taylor announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination on Thursday. James Harrison reports:

Taylor, who called himself a Democrat in the tradition of former Gov. Phil Bredesen, has no prior experience in politics. If elected, he would be the first Democrat to win in the 3rd District since Rep. Marilyn Lloyd, who served 10 terms and was last elected to the House in 1992.

In an interview with reporters following his speech, Taylor said his 30 years of work in a health-related business, along with his financial knowledge as a certified public accountant, provide him with the skills needed represent almost 700,000 residents of the 3rd District.

“I’m a reasonable person with a lot of experience,” Taylor said. “I’m not going to dig myself into a trench and shoot at the opposition, I’m going to sit down at the table and talk to people to find common ground.”

The article also mentions that Brenda Freeman Short, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination in 2010, is thinking about running again. Short was a staffer for Marilyn Lloyd.

A TN-03 taxonomy

My, how time flies. Two years ago this month, a new blog was added to Chattarati.com called, simply enough, the “TN03 Election Blog.” Its solitary purpose: to track the candidates and issues in the election of a new U.S. Representative for Tennessee’s Third District, which former Congressman Zach Wamp resigned in order to run for governor.

But really, not that much time has passed. Only one year ago this month, on August 5th, the corner of 7th and Market Streets in Chattanooga exploded with celebration as Chuck Fleischmann squeaked past a double handful of other Republican candidates to win the primary, while just down the street at the Sports Barn, hope turned to anxiety to stinging dejection as the Robin Smith campaign team watched the returns come in.

Make no mistake: that night, revenge was sworn. Specifics were likely not determined, nor even a general plan per se; but the seed was planted. Smith had given the local party twenty years of sweat equity, and, it would seem, some felt that this congressional seat was to have been her dividend.
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A decade in Tennessee politics: Turning a redder shade of purple

The first decade of the twenty-first century is ending, and though there is no rule that says retrospectives must be timed to coincide neatly with flips of pages in man-made calendars, such is, in practice, when they are written. Following is a brief recap of Tennessee politics, from the perspective of one who, in late 2000, was just starting to pay attention. Continue reading

And justice 4-all: Hamilton County Commission deadlocked on mayor vote

The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners met this morning to decide a replacement for County Mayor Claude Ramsey, who is leaving local government to serve in Governor-elect Bill Haslam’s administration. No replacement was selected today, however, because the vote and a re-attempt both resulted in a tie.

Although eight people had submitted applications to be considered for the post, only the two frontrunners received nominations in the session: Mike Carter, a former judge and currently special adviser to Ramsey; and Commissioner Jim Coppinger, who represents District 3. With Coppinger unable to vote, the potential for deadlock was realized when Commissioners Chester Bankston, Greg Beck, Tim Boyd, and Warren Mackey cast votes for Carter; and Commissioners Jim Fields, Joe Graham, Larry Henry, and Fred Skillern voted for Coppinger.

The exercise will be repeated on next Wednesday (5 January 2010). As several have noted, the question now becomes “which commissioner will change his vote?” And as Times Free Press reporter Dan Whisenhunt tweeted, County Attorney Rheubin Taylor says that if no action is taken by the 11th (when Ramsey officially steps down), then Commission Chair Skillern becomes interim mayor, and would thus be unable to vote (although a total of 5 votes would still be needed to select a replacement).

All of this re-raises the question “why not a special election to replace Ramsey?” The Tennessee Constitution states in Article VII, Section 2:

Vacancies in county offices shall be filled by the county legislative body, and any person so appointed shall serve until a successor is elected at the next election occurring after the vacancy and is qualified.

The timing is unfortunate, since the next election is in 2012. Some have wondered aloud whether Ramsey should have declined to run for reelection in August, given that he turned around and accepted a job in the Haslam government. The insinuation that Ramsey may have known a job offer was coming is best viewed in the light that Ramsey publicly supported Zach Wamp for governor.

The best possible solution, from the citizens’ point of view, is for the Commission to have conducted the appointment process in as open a manner as possible. Since that did not play out, the best we can hope for is a speedy end to the drama and a return to efficient governing by whomever is chosen.

The powered of the county

The 2010 elections now are fading into memory, and the national campaigns for 2012 have already begun, so this seems as good a time as any to assess Chattanooga’s clout as measured by the roles our elected officials will be assuming. Party caucus elections have been held, committee assignments have been meted, and administrations are being assembled. How did we do? Continue reading