(AP) - Dairy executive Scottie Mayfield has hired on political consultant Tommie Hopper for his challenge of incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleishmann in the 3rd House District.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Hopper's hire is the latest executive of the state Republican Party to become involved in congressional politics in the district (http://bit.ly/wQg9Vd ).

Chip Saltsman, a former party director, ran Fleischmann's bid in 2010 and is now his chief of staff.

Fleischmann defeated Robin Smith, a former party chairwoman, in the 2010 Republican primary. Smith's campaign aide Mark Winslow, a former state party director, later sued Saltsman for defamation and slander.

The case is pending in Davidson County Circuit Court.

A third candidate in the Republican primary this year is Weston Wamp, son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

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