Nashville, TN – AP declares Republican Bill Haslam next Tennessee Governor. At 7:30 p.m., had a significant lead over Democrat Mike McWherter.
Bill Haslam (R) - 62.13%
Mike McWherter (D) -35.87%
Republican Bill Haslam has been elected Tennessee's 49th governor, overcoming his rival's claims that he was a "billionaire oil man" and his own controversial statements on gun rights. With less than 1 percent of precincts reporting, Haslam had 251,483 votes, or 71 percent, to Democrat Mike McWherter's 96,443, or 27 percent. Haslam was president of the family-owned Pilot chain of truck stops, one of the country's largest privately owned companies, until he was elected mayor of Knoxville in 2003. McWherter, son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, failed to capitalize on his famous family name. The Democrat recently hit Haslam over what he called his "reckless" pledge that he'd sign into law a potential measure to eliminate requirements to obtain a state-issued permit to carry handguns in public.