Rep. Wamp: Why Republicans Won In Tennessee

Monday, November 10, 2008 - by Rep. Zach Wamp

Before the analysts and pundits completely misread the state of the Republican Party in America, folks need to look at what happened last week in the previously bellwether state of Tennessee. With a strong mother and businesswoman turned political activist at the helm of the Tennessee Republican Party, Chairwoman Robin Smith led the GOP to a historic new majority in the General Assembly.

Under Smith’s leadership and with the help of many quality new candidates like country music singer Terri Lynn Weaver and young entrepreneur Josh Evans, the Tennessee GOP captured 14 non-incumbent seats in the State House and State Senate to win the first constitutional majority in both bodies since Reconstruction. Former House minority leader Jason Mumpower now stands ready to be the Speaker of the house and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey increased the majority in the State Senate necessary to keep him in that post dramatically changing the future of Tennessee politics as the 2010 census draws near.



This victory comes without any coattails from John McCain. President George W. Bush won Tennessee in 2000 and 2004 and didn’t really impact the outcome of the Democratic majority in the General Assembly. President-elect Obama came within 1 percent of the vote that former presidential candidate John Kerry did in 2004. In a year where Tennessee experienced record voter turnout, this was not a coattails election.

Nor was the Tennessee outcome about race. Two years ago Harold Ford, Jr. ran a very competitive state-wide campaign in Tennessee for the U.S. Senate. Having been in politics in Tennessee for over 25 years, I can assure you that Colin Powell, J.C. Watts or Condoleezza Rice would have carried our state had they run for President.

The winning approach for the Tennessee GOP was recruiting excellent candidates and articulating a consistent message. Standing on conservative principles with a positive platform, Tennessee Republicans have changed the status quo. This election basically rolled out the “good old boy” leadership of our state legislature, replacing it with fresh people. The message from the candidates was one that included limited government and low taxes, but took the position of funding education before all of the other priorities are decided upon. This pro-education message for primary, secondary and higher education funding levels, in addition to the social and values issues important to our voters brought about this stunning result.

While the GOP experiences huge branding challenges in our nation, a state like Tennessee with a simple message, outstanding candidates and hard work at the local level serves as an example to the nation how to win the old fashioned way-earn it.

Rep. Zach Wamp


I Know Kenny Smith

I’m writing in response to comments by City Councilman Larry Grohn about Kenny Smith. I don’t know Mr. Grohn, but I know Kenny Smith.  Kenny told me he met Grohn once but doesn’t know him.   If Grohn really knew Kenny Smith, he’d know Kenny pushed for expanded vocational education while on the School Board and is intent on pushing for it on the County Commission. ... (click for more)

Keep Judge Christie Sell On The Bench

Judge Christie Mahn Sell is a local Chattanoogan who has never been anything but a positive and influential leader in our community. I have known Christie most of my life, and I can attest to her integrity and character. Since Christie’s election as the first woman judge to General Sessions Court in 2006, she has focused on improving awareness and education of domestic violence ... (click for more)

EPB Says It Did Not Overbill The City; Says City Got $685,877 Break

EPB officials said Tuesday that an exhaustive audit of its street light contract with the city showed that it did not overbill the city. Instead, it said it found that the city was underbilled $685,877. EPB said it only goes back one year on errors so the amount owed by the city would be $178,314. Officials said that would be discussed with the city. Stan Sewell, the city's ... (click for more)

Citizens To Comment Next Tuesday On Sound Control Ordinance That Allows Higher Sound Around Downtown Clubs

Citizens will be allowed to comment next Tuesday on a new Sound Control Ordinance that allows higher sound from nightclubs in a downtown Controlled Sound Boundary. Track 29 behind the Chattanooga Choo Choo, that has drawn the wrath of some nearby Southside residents, is within the boundary, which goes from Fourth Street to Main Street. The hearing before the City Council ... (click for more)

Vols Open 2018 Season Against West Virginia In Charlotte

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Volunteers will open the 2018 season on September 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. All information related to kickoff date, time and tickets will be announced at ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Williams Signs With Northwest Missouri

Ooltewah’s Mike Williams, one of District 5-AAA’s most respected wide receiver threats in 2013, has signed a football scholarship with Northwest Missouri State, the defending NCAA Division II national champion. Williams chose the Bearcats, members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, over Carson-Newman, in Jefferson City, Tenn., and Paine College, in Augusta ... (click for more)