(CNN) – Republican Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee wants to make one thing clear: If elected governor, the Volunteer State will remain part of the United States.
"Of course we will not secede from the union," Wamp told reporters at a campaign stop in Franklin, Tennessee over the weekend, according to the Associated Press. "But we will also not have a governor who will cave in to Barack Obama."
"I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government," Wamp told the Hotline.
In the same interview, Wamp said he hopes voters send a message in November that the federal government should "strictly adhere" to the Constitution.
"Patriots like Rick Perry have talked about these issues because the federal government is putting us in an untenable position at the state level," he said.
Perry, the Texas governor who easily won a primary challenge earlier this year, saw his stock rise among conservatives after suggesting in 2009 that his state might consider secession.
Wamp's primary opponents, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, both have said they don't support secession.
The primary is set for August 5.