First, as KnoxGOP Chairman from 2005-2007. The Supreme Court ruling came down after the primary filing deadline in 2006 that the voters term limit decision was in effect. The decision was made to ask supposedly Republican Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and one of our non contested Republican office holders to serve as Chairs of the 2006 Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner. So, I contacted Haslam and his response was that he had better not as he is a non partisan Mayor and did not want to offend the Democrats. So, the view that the party needed him but he declined to assist the party was set into motion. The party went on to be successful at the Lincoln Day Dinner and at the ballot box in spite of the non partisan “Orange Ballot Initiative”. Haslam did not begin attending Lincoln Day Dinners until he announced for Governor, last year.
Secondly, in 2006 as KnoxGOP Chairman I supported BIG Jim Bryson for Governor and the Republican nominee Bob Corker for United States Senate. We beat Harold Ford, Jr. but was not successful with electing Bryson. Having been on the inside of the Bryson campaign it was obvious that the Republicans needed a strong candidate, like Bryson not someone that would cower from a position and someone that possesses a firm set of beliefs and principles.
In May 2007, six months following the November 2006 after looking at candidates with statewide appeal. I declared that if Third District United States Congressman Zach Wamp would run then I would support him for election as Governor. This was before Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam was even reelected to a second four year term as Mayor of Knoxville.
Thirdly, as I look at a Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam he still has a year and a half in his current term as Knoxville Mayor to complete. Knoxville is on the verge of taking a turn that could undo all that Haslam has begun and that would be devastating. Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey still has two years remaining on his four year term as State Senator. He should be able to complete his term, as the legislature is hanging on by a Republican majority thread. As a Republican, I believe we should be servant leaders of our word and that means completing the terms of office that we told the citizens we would serve.
As I look at Congressman Wamp, I see a servant leader like I strive to be. A man of conviction that does not cower from his world view.
I see a servant leader that has a 100% pro-life position. I see a servant leader that has a second amendment record far superior to a Mayor that would punish handgun carry permit holders from protecting themselves in city parks. The only thing that a Wamp opponent can point to is the TARP vote. He was informed (wrongly I might add) that the citizens he represents would be without access to their cash, checking accounts and credit. But, don’t take my word for it, let the Congressman explain the TARP vote to you. The question and subsequent answer is asked at 4:39 of this video.
For all of these reasons, I have been backing Zach Wamp since he announced for Governor nearly 19 months ago. Yes, I have passionately defended my candidate and his family. Yes, I have passionately pointed out the differences and inconsistencies of his opponents. So, until August 5, 2010 I will continue passionately supporting and backing Zach. I believe that when you hitch your truck to a wagon you do not change.
As a disclosure, Wamp, Bill Gibbons and Ron Ramsey all contacted me about their candidacies and asked for my assistance. I informed Gibbons and Ramsey that my decision for Wamp was firm, my commitment rock solid. Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam nor any of “his” people contacted me about supporting him in his run for Governor. Although, he has mailed me many invitations to fund raisers and receptions.
I ask all my family, friends, loyal Brian’s Blog readers to Vote for Zach Wamp in the upcoming Republican primary. Early Voting is underway until July 31, 2010 or on Election Day August 5, 2010.