Monday, January 19, 2009

Profiles of Candidates for RNC Chairman - Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman
D.O.B.: 03/24/1968 AGE: 39 HOME STATE: Tennessee TITLE: Former Tennessee Republican State Executive Committee Chairman WEBSITE: @chipsaltsmanPLAN: CRepublican Plan for Victory (pdf)
John “Chip” Saltsman, Jr. is a Tennessee Republican with the experience, energy, and dedication necessary to bring our Republican Party to resurgent national leadership. As a business owner, as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, and as campaign manager of a Republican presidential campaign, Saltsman has learned how to compete and how to win.
Born March 24, 1968 in Nashville, Tennessee, Saltsman attended Christian Brothers University in Memphis, at which he earned his bachelor’s and master’s in business administration degrees. Before the Republican Revolution of 1994, Tennessee was represented by two Democratic Senators, a Democratic Governor, and a Democratic State Legislature. With Saltsman’s help, conservatives elected Senator Bill Frist, Senator Fred Thompson, and Governor Don Sundquist that year in a sweeping landslide.
Elected Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party in 1998, Saltsman quickly faced a crisis of conscience when his long-time mentor Governor Don Sundquist made imposition of a state income tax the centerpiece of his second term. Refusing to permit his party to betray its commitment to fiscal conservatism, Saltsman strongly opposed the income tax proposal, which failed after grassroots opposition from conservatives across the state inspired a tax revolt. Today, Tennessee remains one of only nine states without a broad-based income tax.
Saltsman next faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge as he worked to defeat then-Vice President Al Gore in his home state of Tennessee, despite President Clinton’s success there in 1992 and 1996 and despite the fact that Gore and his father had represented the state in the Senate for a combined twenty-six years. Saltsman’s hard work and political leadership ensured George W. Bush’s victory in Tennessee, without which Florida’s narrow margin would have been nothing but an interesting footnote.
Saltsman followed this accomplishment by working as Development Director for Senator Frist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2002 election cycle, where he helped Republicans regain control of the Senate after the defection of Senator James Jeffords handed the chamber to Democratic control in May 2001.
Saltsman then became Senior Political Advisor to Majority Leader Frist at VOLPAC, a political action committee chaired by Frist and dedicated to recruitment and support of Republican candidates for political office nationwide. In 2004, eighteen of the twenty two races that VOLPAC supported were successful. And, in 2006, VOLPAC helped ensure the election of Senator Bob Corker over Harold Ford, Jr. in Tennessee.
Saltsman was also an important figure in Senator Frist’s preparations for a potential run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and was labeled “Frist’s secret weapon” by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and “a multi-talented superstar …[who has] demonstrated uncanny, remarkable leadership in every endeavor he’s undertaken” by Frist himself. However, following the completion of his two terms in the Senate, Frist decided against a run for the presidency. With Frist’s departure from public service, Saltsman became National Campaign Manager for Governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign on February 1, 2007.
Saltsman oversaw all aspects of the campaign, including political, fundraising, communications and operations, and he led the dark horse candidacy to a surprise second place in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll and then to victory in the Iowa Republican Caucuses. Huckabee’s campaign proceeded to record victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia on Super Tuesday, before ending his campaign on March 4, 2008 with 270 pledged delegates.
Saltsman is currently considering a run for chairman of the Republican National Committee, so that our party can pick itself up, develop and offer new ideas, introduce new candidates, and present new leadership. Despite our defeat this November, he firmly believes that the Republican Party can arise bolder, stronger, and more cohesive in the months and years to come.

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