published Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Tres Wittum could join Republican race for 3rd District seat

by Chris Carroll
  • photo
    Tres Wittum, a policy and research analyst for state Sen. Bo Watson, is thinking about jumping into the 3rd Congressional District GOP primary.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Who would you support?

Weeks after Weston Wamp mounted a challenge against U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, another 24-year-old Republican is thinking about joining the race.

Tres Wittum, a policy and research analyst for state Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said his job allows him to observe the legislative process up close and gives him the experience to work in Washington. The former president of Tennessee College Republicans said he'll make a final decision on running before April.

"You can't just go in and say, 'You know what? I'll be the 24-year-old that's going to Congress, and I'm going to tell the president of the United States this is the way it's going to be,'" said Wittum, whose first name is pronounced "trace."

"You have to understand the way in which government is operated."

Fleischmann declined comment through a spokesman.

An Indiana native who graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in August, Wittum said he's not affiliated with a Facebook page called "Draft Tres Wittum For Congress 2012." He said a conservative group of people approached him last March, encouraged him to consider Congress and started the Facebook page.

"I am not involved in running that page," Wittum said, "but I'm aware of it."

The "Draft" page includes verbatim policy statements from Wittum's personal page, sometimes posted within minutes of each other. Both pages feature photographs of Wittum with prominent tea party favorites, including presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va; and U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. As of Friday, the page had 1,417 followers. Fleischmann's official congressional page had 1,663.

While he respects his elders -- he called Watson an "awesome guy who's very respected in our area" -- Wittum had a clear message for current members of Congress.

"You guys had your chance, and it didn't go very well," he said.

The rhetoric sounds similar to Wamp's. The son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp has portrayed himself as "a member of the debt-paying generation." But in an interview, Wittum emphasized that "I'm not from a political family."

"It's more about what you've done and what you've experienced," he said.

Watson, who recently attended a Fleischmann fundraiser, said he is proud to have "hired people who people believe are good enough to run for Congress." Asked if he would support his staffer against Fleischmann, Watson laughed.

"We'll just see," he said. "We'll see what happens."

Fleischmann, 49, represents Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District, which includes Chattanooga, Oak Ridge, Cleveland and a stretch of rural towns.

Jean Howard-Hill is another Republican challenging him, and several others, including J.B. Bennett and Robin Smith, have said they're considering runs.

No Democrats, independents or third-party candidates have entered the race so far.

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Facts said...

3rd District Voters: How does it feel to have such FINE candidates wanting to be your face in Washington, DC. Each and everyone of them very important people-to themselves- who've never done anything but talk. If these challengers and this puppet incumbent are the choices, I want to move.

November 26, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.
congressman said...

Tres should run! Great young man!

Wittum cares about Tennessee and seeing his generation rise to meet the challenges that have been passed down. Unlike others, he has built his own name and we admire his courage, integrity, and honor. Tres is championing the message that will return our nation to its status as a “shining city on a hill”: personal responsibility, individual freedom, and moral integrity.

November 26, 2011 at 9:34 a.m.
congressman said...

link text

November 26, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
HeathDavis said...

I have had the privilege to work with Tres Wittum for 8 years as both a peer and as an employer. He is hard working with an excellent work ethic. Tres is very motivated and goal driven, he is the type of person that everyone wants on their team. A person would be hard-pressed to think of anyone more actionable, motivated, and goal oriented than he.

Tres is the shot in the arm that Washington needs. He is young, fresh, and full of new ideas, not the same sub-par governance we have seen. It excites me that some day soon we could have the opportunity to cast our ballots for Tres Wittum.

November 26, 2011 at 11:12 a.m.
JJCosby said...

My Name is Joshua Cosby and I am a former serviceman of the US ARMY.

I met Mr. Tres Wittum, this past summer. It was a great experience to meet a rare American with such a positive out-look on life. In this day and age it's rare to meet a person with genuine concerns for the people of this country and is ready to make a difference. Tres’s destiny and circle in this life will affect and encompass many. I am proud to have met Mr. Wittum and know that great things will come to him. You don’t get many young inspirational conservatives like Mr. Wittum these days. He reminded me (in a conservative way) of President John F. Kennedy.

November 26, 2011 at 11:37 a.m.
bret said...

Fleischmann declined comment through a spokesman.

LOL! Chuckie needs a spokesman to not comment!

November 26, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.
mel0167 said...

Tres holds to strong conservative values and advocates on behalf of things that conservatives stand for. He's not just talk. I especially appreciate how he has spoken up for the state of Israel. He is proactive.

November 26, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.
ure07 said...

William Faulkner once said to a group of graduating high school seniors, " Years ago, before any of you were born, a wise Frenchman said, 'If youth knew; if age could.'" It is clear that neither Faulkner, nor the Frenchman knew Tres Wittum. Best of success, sport.

November 26, 2011 at 9:30 p.m.
garon7 said...

This movement is about “us”, a doubted and challenged generation stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for the future direction of our country. Draft Tres Wittum for Congress is a movement of “We the People”: the friends, family, and colleagues who first recognized the leader among us who can articulate our message and be our spokesman: Tres Wittum. Tres is a person who boldly speaks our shared beliefs, lives by our convictions, truly loves and wants the best for our country, and has been actively working over the years defending our unalienable rights.

We understand the major challenges our nation faces but are nevertheless convinced that it’s up to us to mend our broken country and rise to new heights this country has never seen. All of us have a duty and responsibility to protect our sacred rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All of us are stepping up to the plate to create our own destiny and have a say in the future we will inherit. Now is the time for us to have a seat at the table: to make decisions which concern us and direct our government in Washington to hear our voice.

November 27, 2011 at 7:47 a.m.
hopevictoria said...

I have known Tres for several years as a peer, co-worker and friend. Although we may not have always seen eye-to-eye on policy, Tres has a great passion that I truly admire. Tres is a charismatic and honest person, and I always enjoyed being on the same team as someone so motivated. I am glad the TFP is featuring Tres, and I agree with previous comments about his positive attitude and drive to achieve goals. I wish Tres all the best in the future, whether he decides to run or not. If he does decide to run, I know he will proudly represent the district as a candidate, and hopefully, as a member of Congress.

November 28, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.

This guy is a liar I find it fascinating he has NOTHING to do with creating the 'Draft Tres Wittum' page, yet he was harassing his Facebook friends to 'like' the page almost 4 months ago. Beyond that, if this is a 'We the people' movement that Tres had nothing to do with like he cited in this article and 'garon7' stated... why is the Draft Tres Wittum page statuses written in FIRST person, not third? Seems odd to me that a grassroots organization would make a status in 1st person, unless the creator has schizophrenia and channels Mr. Wittum's inner thoughts.

Lastly, Mr. Wittum was labeled as a 'page creator' on this Draft page until about 4 weeks ago.

This guy is a joke, actually... no, he's not, because he actually thinks he's qualified to run for Congress.

Actually, Tres, with your narcissism, you're already qualified to run against the President... for the Democratic Party nomination.

I think Leno should retire and we just make a reality show out of Mr. Wittum's campaign to for late night, it'd definitely be more hilarious to watch.

November 28, 2011 at 3:03 p.m.
great_american said...

Tres is a true conservative. He is a man of integrity and holds to a Judeo-Christian worldview. He understands the importance of standing with Israel; not only does he speak of his support of the nation, but actually acts upon those convictions. He has a good head on his shoulders, is down-to-earth, and very much a "real person." I appreciate the fact that he does not come from a political family; to tell you the truth I am tired of the politicians that "run in the family" and the "old money" sort of deal.
Yes, it is true that he is young. He, however, has more common sense than a lot of people in Washington. I think that we should applaud the young men and women of today who are called to protect the Constitution of the United States and preserve our freedoms. The fact is that so many of our youth do not understand this concept and frankly do not care to.
Should Tres become Congressman, I trust that he would honorably represent the people of The United States of America.

November 28, 2011 at 11:19 p.m.
congressman said...

You know your making an impact when you start getting haters. Its called copy and paste LOL. GO TRES! We believe in you! T3 Tres for 3rd.

November 29, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
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