Gubernatorial candidates square off in East Tennessee debate - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gubernatorial candidates square off in East Tennessee debate

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An industrial megasite in West Tennessee has become a point of contention at a gubernatorial debate in Knoxville.

Democrat Mike McWherter said at the event at the University of Tennessee on Thursday evening that Republican candidate Bill Haslam has tried in a television ad to "hijack credit" for getting the site in Haywood County developed.

McWherter, a Jackson businessman, also noted that it was Senate Republicans who earlier this year tried to cut funding for the industrial site until term-limited Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen intervened.

Haslam, the mayor of Knoxville, denied that he was trying to take credit for the site. But he noted that the ad featured the endorsement of Franklin Smith, the Democratic mayor of Haywood County, and illustrates his ability to work across the political aisle.

In Haslam's words: "I think a track record does speak."

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