CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Former state Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith said Friday she won’t make another run for Congress next year.
Smith, who narrowly lost the GOP nomination to the 3rd District to eventual winner Chuck Fleischmann last year, told WGOW-AM in Chattanooga that she wants to focus on business opportunities.
“I don’t wake up every morning with a desire for revenge,” Smith said.
Fleishmann is facing a challenge from 24-year-old Weston Wamp, the son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp. The elder Wamp retired from Congress to make an unsuccessful bid for governor last year.
Smith said she doesn’t plan to make an endorsement in the race.
The 3rd District stretches from Chattanooga on the Georgia border north past Oak Ridge before curling east around Knox County and touching the Kentucky border. Redistricting could significantly alter the shape of the district.
“The new district for 2012 will be very favorable for a challenger for this incumbent,” Smith said. “It’s going to be more concise, it’s going to involve most likely just one media market.
“So there were things that were very hard for me to walk away from on a personal emotional level.”
Smith didn’t rule out making a renewed bid for Congress in 2014.
Note: Robin Smith’s news release is available below
News release from Robin 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!”
Robin Smith is the owner of Rivers Edge Alliance, a firm providing project management and consulting with current clients in the sectors of health care, energy and non-profit.