If your name has been advertised in every grocery store and sale paper in a congressional district for decades, it shouldn’t be surprising that you are well known.
Scottie Mayfield, of Mayfield Dairy fame, has decided to run for Congress. He is running against Chuck Fleischmann, who won the seat two years ago after Zach Wamp left to run for governor.
Mayfield has released a poll showing that he has 75 percent name identification in the district, which is a head start on most first-time candidates. The poll, done by the Mayfield campaign and thus not necessarily definitive, shows Mayfield leading with 34 percent of the vote as opposed to Fleischmann and Weston Wamp tied at 25 percent.
Mayfield’s strength in the poll comes from the addition of his home county, Monroe, to the district. Up until the recent redistricting, the county was represented by Congressman Jimmy Duncan, R-Knoxville. Mayfield has said he wouldn’t have run against Duncan, but since the district has been realigned he decided to go for it. He has hired Tommy Hopper, known in political circles as a take-no-prisoners operative, to run his campaign.
The Mayfield campaign says it has raised over $400,000 in the last month. Fleischmann has raised a great deal of money, having fund-raisers with House Speaker John Boehner and his deputy Congressman Eric Cantor.
The race is important for Knox County because so many West Knoxville people work at Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge and the 3rd District congressman has the responsibility to bring home the bacon that keeps them all fed.