Nashville businessman and political insider Scooter Clippard is telling friends that he plans to run in the Republican primary for the open state Senate seat being vacated by long-serving Democratic Sen. Joe Haynes.
While Clippard, a former senior executive at FirstBank, claims he has the Tennessee GOP heavyweights in his corner for the primary, it doesn’t appear to be as cut and dried as he thinks it is.
In an e-mail sent out on Presidents' Day to friends, Clippard says that "Fred Thompson - Bill Frist - Lamar - Corker - Beth and Ron all plan on doing events for me - Palin will endorse me."
Contacted by NashvillePost.com, several of those mentioned in the e-mail say something completely different.
Todd Womack, chief of staff for Sen. Bob Corker, said, "It has been our custom not to be involved in open state legislative primaries and we have no plans to change that policy."
Sen. Lamar Alexander diplomatically stated, "Scooter Clippard has been a good friend for a long time. He called to tell me he planned to run and I told him I would be happy to do an event for him after the primary."
And former Sen. Bill Frist responded through an associate, "I am supportive of him, but obligations prohibit me from hosting events or contributing to the campaign."
Attempts to reach others mentioned in the email have not been successful prior to publication of this article.
An unedited copy of Clippard's email is below.
Sent: Mon, Feb 20, 2012 11:02 am
Subject: State Senate
Before you here this from someone else - its getting out - When I return from Colorado with my family rested! I am announcing for Joe Haynes seat - Ron Ramsey and Beth Harwell sort of kicked me out of the starting blocks -This will be the 4th chapter of my life - president of a lumber co. - Chief Dev officer of a Bank - founder of the Center and now a public servant . Fred Thompson - Bill Frist - Lamar - Corker - Beth and Ron all plan on doing events for me - Palin will endorse me – Until Beth and Ron took me to dinner a couple of weeks ago, I would never of dreamed of this. I had been in Doug Henry's seat, but after redistricting the new line now passes through our back yard -The Kaegi's and Bob Daviswill handle the campaign.I would love to have your input at some point! Thanks