Tom Ingram joins Jeb Bush presidential campaign

Veteran Tennessee political operative Tom Ingram has joined the presidential campaign of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, reports The Tennessean.

Ingram worked as an adviser to Gov. Bill Haslam. He’s also advised U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and previously served as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Most recently Ingram advised the Nashville mayoral campaign of Charles Robert Bone.

“I think this is an incredibly important election, and I have a lot of respect for the governor. Watched him as governor of Florida and saw his accomplishments there and his leadership style there,” Ingram said in a phone interview Thursday.

Bush is considered a moderate, establishment Republican, the same political bent as many of Ingram’s former clients. The former governor has fallen behind controversial business tycoon Donald Trump in some national polling, but remains one of the most likely candidates to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Ingram said he’ll be working on the delegate selection process in Tennessee and other states, and do whatever else he can to help the campaign. He’ll be a paid adviser.

…”It’ll be a challenge, because Tennessee in the last few presidential primaries has kind of gone to the fringes,” Ingram said.

“The expectations are realistic, but I think the opportunity is there for him to present himself, for the people of Tennessee to get to know him for who he is, not who his family is, and I think they’ll be impressed if they do that.”