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Tennessee - 3rd District

Incumbent -- Zach Wamp (R) ; Defeated by Bill Haslam, R, in gubernatorial primary on August 5, 2010

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

The race to replace Wamp was pretty well decided in the GOP primary in August in this safely Republican Chattanooga-based district.

Well-funded lawyer Chuck Fleischmann narrowly defeated well-connected former state GOP Chairwoman Robin Smith in an intensely personal and negative contest.

Fleischmann's biggest endorsement came from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), but his biggest campaign contributor was himself. He loaned his campaign about $700,000 during the primary.

Fleischmann faces attorney John Wolfe (D) in a race that national Democrats are not targeting this fall.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

From the borders of Kentucky and Virginia to its north and Georgia and North Carolina to its south, the 3rd spans the height of Tennessee. Chattanooga, the district's largest city, has attracted technology and manufacturing jobs to the region.

The 3rd's geographic center falls near Oak Ridge, where multidisciplinary high-tech national research facilities sprawl over parts of Anderson and Roane counties. Once solely dependent on federal dollars, Oak Ridge, one site of the Manhattan Project, now promotes its "Secret City" history.

Nearly half of the 3rd's population resides in Hamilton County, which includes Chattanooga and abuts Georgia. Skilled technology manufacturing and auto assembly jobs boost the economy here. Renewal projects such as the Tennessee Aquarium, a rejuvenated waterfront and programs at a local University of Tennessee campus have revitalized downtown Chattanooga. To the east, Bradley -- including the city of Cleveland -- and Polk counties offer tours of the Cherokee National Forest and a rich history of the Cherokee Indians.

District residents support low-tax fiscal policies and hold conservative views on social issues, making the 3rd a Republican-leaning district. In 2008, John McCain took 74 percent of the presidential vote in Bradley County, his best county statewide.

Major Industry

Nuclear and high-tech research, technology, higher education


Chattanooga, 167,674; Cleveland, 41,285; Oak Ridge (pt.), 29,112; East Ridge, 20,979


The 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial in Dayton (Rhea County) upheld a law making it illegal to teach evolution.




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