News flash: Zach has announced plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in the Republican primary next year.
But no, no, no, no, no. This Zach is not former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., the longtime 3rd Congressional District representative from Chattanooga who ran and lost in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary.
Meet political unknown Zach Poskevich, of Hendersonville, Tenn. He's a technology consultant and self-described "constitutional conservative" who touts his complete lack of elected experience as a qualification and tea party "fervor" as the reason he can win the U.S. Senate.
"People are struggling like never before and this country is divided like never before because we have thrown away the rule book in Washington," Poskevich says in a news release. "People have lost patience with representatives who break promises, betray their constituency and dishonor the oath they took to protect and support the U.S. Constitution against all enemies when they were sworn into office."
Poskevich acknowledges he can't match Corker's fundraising, which his campaign contends "predominantly [comes] from corporate-driven individual giving." But he believes he can still unseat Corker.
Poskevich says he served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He and his wife, Lenore, have a 10-year-old daughter.
Her name is Reagan, as in former President Ronald Reagan. You can check out his website at www.zachforsenate.com.
The Other Zach
Speaking of Wamp, while many Americans spent the 10th anniversary of 9/11 honoring the memory of those killed in the terror attacks, the former congressman spent at least part of the day on the golf course, according to an email sent to the Times Free Press' sports department by PGA professional/instructor Ryan Kygar at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, Ariz.
"One of your locals had a hole in one on 9/11/11," the email says.
"Zach Wamp, Witnessed: Jeremy Shaver & Brad Vance
Hole #17 The Legacy Golf Resort, Phoenix AZ, 85049
189 yards with a 4 hybrid."
Open Redistricting Except for Senate Plan
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, the Republican Senate speaker, said he's showing his commitment to "an efficient and open Senate redistricting process" next year by placing an "unprecedented" amount of information and data online for use by the general public.
Participation in the process "will now be open to any Tennessee citizen with access to a computer," Ramsey's office promises in a news release.
"In years past, redistricting was done with only a select few possessing the keys to access the data necessary to draw a map," said Ramsey, of Blountville.
"Today's technology allows anyone to get on a computer and fully participate in the process. Armed with the data we are posting online and the appropriate software, individual citizens can draw their own maps and submit them for consideration. It is truly an exciting time to be involved in this process."
But missing from the website is Senate Republicans' so-far secret plan -- or plans -- for redrawing state Senate and congressional districts.
Current population data and maps with a graphic representation of current districts are available. For more information, go to www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/redist/redistricting.html. All plans must be submitted to the Office of Legal Services no later than Nov. 1.
Harwell Also Pushes Transparency
Earlier this week, House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, beat Ramsey to the punch by announcing she is putting redistricting information on the House website. But again, nothing's there about House Republicans' equally secretive plans.
"By putting this new information on the legislative website, we are striving for a more open and transparent process than ever before," Harwell said.
The website will also features a "comment line" [615-741-3743] that Tennesseans can call to leave suggestions and input for committee members.
Access the website at www.capitol.tn.gov/house/committees/redistricting.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...