Gubernatorial candidate visits Bryan
March 21, 2010
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam has been focusing on three issues since he started his campaign for governor almost two years ago, and said March 20, that the needs have only grown more critical.
Bryan President Dr. Stephen Livesay, left, greets Knoxville
Mayor Bill Haslam and his wife, Crissy, during a visit to
the college March 20. Back is Jonathan Bryant, a 2008 Bryan alumnus who is on the mayor's gubernatorial campaign staff.
Unemployment, the state budget and education are three areas that the next governor will have to address when he takes office next January, and Tennessee needs a chief executive who can make the hard choices necessary, he said.
“We need a governor who is personally involved in job creation,” Mr. Haslam told a group in Dayton called together by Rep. Jim Cobb., R-Spring City. “I look forward to being the chief salesperson for Tennessee.” He said his years in private business plus his experience as mayor give him the background to lead the state in this area.
He pointed out that Gov. Phil Bredesen said the current year’s budget is the hardest he has ever had to make. “The budget the next governor prepares next year will be harder than this one,” Mr. Haslam said. “There is $1.2 billion in this year’s budget that won’t be available next year. We will have hard choices to make.”
Later, he told a group at Bryan College that education needs “some real reform in Tennessee.” He praised the current legislature for its first steps in that direction, but added, “We need a governor who is willing to stand in the door to resist the blowback that will come against reform efforts.”
He reiterated a pledge not to raise taxes. “The only alternative is to address the expense side (of the budget). Every government has fat, but there is not $1.2 billion in fat” in the state budget.
“The short-term priority is to fix the budget; education and jobs are long-term priorities,” he said.
He told the audience at Bryan College, “This election is not about who can give the best speech, but who has the right gifts and experience together to lead the state.”