by Melydia Clewell
Eyewitness News Assignment Manager

Chattanooga (WRCB) -- As Hamilton County's newly elected officials took oaths of office at the Convention Center this morning, Mayor Claude Ramsey revealed his attempt to keep Zach Wamp out of the gubernatorial race.

Or more accurately, Mayor Ramsey tried to keep Wamp in Congress. Ramsey said when he learned of Wamp's desire to run for governor, he tried to convince the third district congressman to change his mind.

"I said, this is being selfish, but I want you to stay where you are for the good of my community," Ramsey told Eyewitness News, citing Wamp's seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Wamp was first elected to Congress in 1994 and currently holds a coveted seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He has used that position to ensure funding to replace the crumbling lock at Chickamauga Dam and to secure millions for the creation of a Methamphetamine Task Force. He has also protected funding for the Veterans' Administration and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Wamp chose not to seek re-election this year, instead choosing to enter the race for Tennessee's highest state office. He lost to Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam in last month's Republican primary.

In November, voters will choose either GOP candidate Chuck Fleischmann or Democrat John Wolfe to serve Tennessee's third district.  Ramsey said he knows the Tennessee Valley will be well represented, but he will miss Wamp. "He has been so helpful. He's been responsive when I call, and we're going to miss him."