Haslam rivals sharpen attacks in televised debate - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Haslam rivals sharpen attacks in televised debate

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NASHVILLE (WRCB/AP) - Republican Bill Haslam's rivals in Tennessee's gubernatorial contest have sharpened their attacks on the Knoxville mayor in the last televised debate before early voting begins Friday.  

Haslam was joined at Monday night's debate at Belmont University in Nashville by fellow Republicans Zach Wamp and Ron Ramsey and by Mike McWherter, the only Democrat running this year. The debate aired on NBC affiliates statewide including live on Channel 3 and streaming on WRCBtv.com.

Each of his rivals challenged Haslam's record. Wamp questioned why Haslam had given a campaign contribution to Democrat Al Gore in a long-ago presidential bid; Ramsey criticized his sincerity on gun rights; and McWherter noted that he had raised property taxes in his first year as mayor.

Haslam responded that he has long been a Republican contributor -- including to Wamp and Ramsey -- and that he will stand for Second Amendment rights in Tennessee.

All four candidates have agreed to participate in our second debate October 11, featuring the primary winner from each party.

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