Haslam Meet With Local Officials
County Mayor Jim Bailey and Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey were among 25 city and county officials that met Wednesday with Governor-elect Bill Haslam as he began his transition to the state’s top office, reports the Columbia Daily Herald.
“The great thing about Bill Haslam is that he is experienced in city government, and he has a great appreciation for the concerns of counties and cities,” Bailey said of the former Knoxville mayor. “And he’ll have an open ear to us.”
Bailey said he and Dickey were invited to the luncheon and meeting by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. Asked if he offered any suggestions to the future governor, Bailey said he told Haslam to consider appointing someone who is not a “bureaucrat” to oversee the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, saying the agency had become too much about enforcement and not enough about helping cities and towns remedy their environmental issues.
Bailey said he and Dickey also hope to set up a meeting soon with Scott DesJarlais, the Republican physician who defeated four-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis.
Gov.-Elect Visits Chattanooga
Gov.-elect Bill Haslam said the Chattanooga area’s recent success landing major industries gives it a leg up in the push for new jobs, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
“Obviously we’re building on some success here, and that’s a lot easier to do than starting from scratch,” said Haslam, who was in Chattanooga on Thursday.
Haslam met Thursday with local elected leaders at the Chattanooga Choo Choo to discuss job creation.
In the past two years, two $1 billion factories have come to the area — Volkswagen in Chattanooga and Wacker Chemical in Bradley County. Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey said he hopes Haslam can help the county with jobs, education and infrastructure.
“Our relationship is extremely important,” Ramsey said. “I hope we’ll have a good relationship with Gov. Haslam.” Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said he’s looking forward to working with the new governor to “keep the progressive trend we’ve been enjoying” moving forward.
McWherter the Day After
So what did Mike McWherter do the day after losing an election for governor?
“I slept late, built a fire in my fireplace, watched television and talked to a lot of people on the phone,” he told the Jackson Sun Thursday. “But I’m back to work now.”
McWherter, 54, said he was very disappointed with the loss in the election.
“I felt bad for my staff and for my family,” he said. “They were more hurt than I was. I was surprised by how hard they took it. My wife’s glad to have me back home, but she was disappointed.”
Looking back on his decision to run and the months on the campaign trail, McWherter said he doesn’t have any regrets. “I’m content with the campaign that we ran,” he said. “I don’t think that I said anything untruthful. It was a year that Democrats didn’t fare well in the state.”
New Rep. Hurley ‘On Cloud Nine’
A former model and Hooters restaurant employee rode a Republican tidal wave to victory over an entrenched state representative Tuesday. Now, she tells Bob Fowler, she’s on Cloud Nine.
Julia C. Hurley, 29, of Lenoir City easily defeated nine-term incumbent Democrat Dennis Ferguson to capture the 32nd House District seat. That district includes all of Roane County and the Lenoir City area of Loudon County.
The victory by the political novice was part of the GOP steamroller that squashed some long-term Democratic lawmakers in East Tennessee on Nov. 2.
….Hurley said she decided to run in September 2009 because she was upset about President Barack Obama and national health care legislation.
“I knew I had to step up,” she said.
Her GOP primary campaign captured area and national headlines last summer when a disgruntled fellow Republican unearthed part of her past.
Members of media outlets were tipped off to slightly racy photos of Hurley from her now-distant modeling career and her part-time job as a Hooters employee while she attended Maryville College.
Hurley had the photos yanked from a modeling website in June, but not before some shots made their way to the media.
Hurley said that brief uproar proved a two-edged sword for her campaign. “There was quite a bit of publicity, both negative and positive,” she said, including a broadcast segment on ABC News and in newspapers from Johnson City to Memphis.
Reports about her part-time modeling career enraged a key segment of her future constituency, she said. “Quite a few women were angry and very upset with the fact someone felt the need to condemn me for the work I had done in college,” she said.
“Voters realized it wasn’t relevant to my education or capabilities,” Hurley said.
Haslam Meet With Local Officials