Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam (R) and businessman Mike McWherter (D) “participated in the event hosted by first lady Andrea Conte” at the gov’s mansion “in which students from nine schools asked the candidates questions” 8/31.
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The candidates starting off talking about a new law allowing open carry in bars and controversy over the proposed mosque in Murfreesboro. “In one of the only barbs of the evening, McWherter noted that Haslam only joined” the NRA “after he declared he was running for” gov. “Haslam laughed off the gibe after the event.”
Haslam: “Mike knows I support Second Amendment rights, that’s really clear.” McWherter and Haslam “both considered the proposed mosque as a land issue, while condemning the recent arson.”
McWherter: “I think the people down there who committed those atrocities down there in burning that equipment should be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Haslam: “No one should condone what’s just happened, it’s not acceptable in any way. There’s no excuse what happened there in the last week” (AP, 9/1).
Last week McWherter “said he hoped to open” an HQ in Shelby Co. soon and “said he will be much more visible here.”
McWherter: “I really believe Shelby Countians will look and realize there is a candidate right next door. I understand the issues in Shelby County far better than my opponent does.”
Haslam’s camp “strongly disputes that, citing 180 meetings” in Shelby during the GOP primary “as evidence of his commitment.” Haslam’s wife, Crissy,” is from Memphis, as are several key supporters of his campaign.”
Shelby Co. Dem chair Van Turner: “The local party can’t do it alone. We need the full apparatus, we need the monetary support and the human resources” (McMillion, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 9/1).
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