CHATTANOOGA — A leading pro-life organization has endorsed incumbent Chuck Fleischmann, R-Chattanooga, in Tennessee’s 3rd District congressional primary.

The National Right to Life Committee announced its endorsement for Fleischmann Monday, citing his “100 percent pro-life voting record,” opposition to using taxpayer funding for abortions and other accomplishments.

“There is nothing more important than giving a voice to the voiceless, and standing up for the sanctity of human life,” Fleischmann said.

The endorsement was welcomed news for the Chattanooga Republican, who found himself somewhat embattled after what many called a poor showing in a July 2 debate against his challenger, Weston Wamp.

In a debate Wamp was widely viewed to have won, Fleischmann found himself responding to allegations that he was part of a “do-nothing Congress” that is unpopular with Americans.

The day after the debate, Fleischmann’s hometown newspaper — the Chattanooga Times Free Press, which co-hosted the debate — called for voters to send the two-term incumbent packing.

“Given Fleischmann’s inability to understand how political discourse and compromise created and grew our democracy, he can serve no purpose in Congress,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote.

Wamp is the son of former Congressman Zach Wamp. The elder Wamp represented the 3rd District for 16 years before unsuccessfully seeking the Republicans’ gubernatorial nod in 2010, a race he ultimately lost to then-Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.

After Wamp’s departure from Congress, Fleischmann won election in 2010. He successfully won re-election in 2012 after staving off a primary challenge from Weston Wamp and dairy mogul Scotty Mayfield.

On the Democrat side of the ballot, physician Mary Headrick is unopposed. She also ran against Fleischmann in 2012, losing by a wide margin.

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Ben Garrett is Independent Herald editor. Contact him at bgarrett@ihoneida.com. Follow him on Twitter, @benwgarrett.