Notable quotes from Claude Ramsey news conference
By David Carroll
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Here are some of the more newsworthy quotes from Friday's press conference, during which Governor-elect Bill Haslam announced the appointment of Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey as Deputy to the Governor and Chief of Staff:
BILL HASLAM on the fact that he and Ramsey are from east Tennessee: "We have a lot of positions that we must still fill. We are going to serve the whole state, and our administration will reflect that as well."
CLAUDE RAMSEY on leaving the County Mayor's post, despite being re-elected to a fifth term in August with 77% of the vote: "Let me tell y'all something. This community is poised for real progress. There are some great things about to happen here. If I didn't think I could fulfill my commitment to this county, and help make it grow, I wouldn't do this."
HASLAM on why he chose Ramsey: "He can do it all. He has brought in jobs and stimulated economic growth in this region. He's gotten personally involved with education reform, and has truly made a difference in the schools in this county. He knows how to work within a budget during some challenging economic times. But above all that, he's a man of great character; the kind of man you like to have on your team."
RAMSEY on how he got the new position: "I told after he got elected governor, if you need anything let me know. And that was that. Then on Sunday night, he texted me and said we need to talk. Monday he told me what he had in mind, and I have had some sleepless nights. But my wife Jan and I are ready for this challenge, and I think we can really do some good in Nashville."
RAMSEY on whether he will be involved in choosing his successor: "I plan to stay out of that. The only reason I would ever get involved is if I feel they're about to name someone who couldn't do the job well. But I don't think we'll have that problem. There are plenty of well-qualified people. And we have a great staff in place. We've operated under the assumption that if I got hit by a bus, this county would still run smoothly because of the people who work here."
MIKE CARTER, former Sessions Court Judge, on whether he's interested in being County Mayor: "Yes, I am interested. It would be an honor."
JIM COPPINGER, Hamilton County Commission District 3, on his interest in the position: "Well, today is not about me. This is Claude's day. There's a process in place to choose a new mayor, and we will follow that process."
COPPINGER, on Ramsey's legacy: "It's sad that he's leaving in a way, because he's gotten so much done here, and there's still so much to do. But he can do even more in his new position assisting the governor, so I'm happy for him."
BO WATSON, District 11 State Senator, on rumors he might be interested in the job: "That's a decision that will be made by the Hamilton County Commission, and I'm sure they will choose wisely."
WATSON, on Ramsey's decision to take the new position: "When you think about it, he's a perfect fit. He knows how to do it all, from dealing with legislators to working within a budget, to attracting the top industries. I think this sends a positive message to the Legislature."
LARRY HENRY. District 7 County Commissioner, on his interest in the County Mayor position: "I am interested in it. I have experience and qualifications and I feel that's important."