published Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Sources: Chip Saltsman seeking job as TN House Republicans' 2014 campaign consultant

NASHVILLE - Veteran Tennessee GOP political strategist Chip Saltsman is seeking a new gig as state House Republicans' 2014 campaign consultant, GOP sources tell the Times Free Press.

Saltsman, a former Tennessee Republican Party chairman, met earlier this week with House GOP leaders and made a presentation for what is expected to be a part-time consulting job, four sources said.

Three of the sources said no final decision has been made. Saltsman did not immediately return a telephone call.

Saltsman managed Republican Mike Huckabee’s 2008 GOP presidential primary bid. He later went on to run Republican Chuck Fleischmann’s successful 2010 and 2012 3rd Congressional District campaigns.

In addition to managing Fleischmann’s campaigns, Saltsman served as the Chattanooga congressman’s first chief of staff in Washington. He continues to do campaign consulting for Fleischmann, according to the congressman’s Federal Election Commission disclosure.

Saltsman this year was also retained as a consultant by state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, for his 4th Congressional District GOP primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

But after Carr switched his sights to a bid challenging U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in the GOP's 2014 primary, a surprised Saltsman said he could not continue working for Carr.

State House Republicans are looking for a new director after Josh Thomas, who successfully oversaw their 2010 and 2012 campaigns, recently opted this election cycle to take a job running North Carolina state House races.

During Thomas' tenure in Tennessee, the number of House Republican representatives soared from 50 members to a 70-member “super majority” in the 99-member chamber.

about Andy Sher...

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, ...

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