An Open Seat Heats Up Partisan Politics
Tennessee usually votes Republican, despite the fact that Bredesen has won two terms. The desire of the two major political parties to either claim or retain that seat has made it a hard fought race.
Haslam has a strong Republican following in East Tennessee and is the favored candidate in the race. He has served as the Mayor of Knoxville for the past seven years. Previously, Mayor Haslam served as president and director of Pilot Corp., a Knoxville-based company operating convenience stores and travel centers nationwide. He also is the former chief executive officer of SAKS Direct, the e-commerce and catalogue division of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Haslam is married with three children and attends the Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, where he is an Elder. He has made family values a centerpiece of his campaign platform.
McWherter is prepared for a tough race and hopes to keep the Governor’s mansion firmly in the hands of the Democrats. He has never held an elected office, but is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps. His dad is former Governor Ned McWherter, who campaigned to represent working families and create more jobs in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties. This is also part of the younger politician’s platform.
McWherter touts his experience as a self-made businessman. For the past 20 years, he has owned and operated a successful beverage distributorship in Jackson. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School. He worked in private practice in Nashville before starting his business in Jackson.
He is married, with two children. He strongly supports comprehensive education reform.
As the race progresses, I’ll be following these two candidates, reporting on their events and campaign promises. Check back on Election Night, November 2, to find out who will be the next Governor of Tennessee!
—Emma Hall, Franklin, Tennessee
PHOTOS: (Top) Republican Bill Haslam, candidate for Governor of Tennessee (Bottom) Democrat Mike McWherter, candidate for Governor of Tennessee (Photos Courtesy of each campaign)