NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney named Gov. Bill Haslam's father and brother to his Tennessee leadership team on Thursday, but a spokesman says the governor is still remaining neutral in the GOP nomination fight.
Romney's campaign announced that Jim Haslam, the founder of the Pilot Flying J chain of truck stops, will serve as state chairman with Ted Welch of Nashville, another prominent Republican fundraiser.
Romney's statement cited Jim Haslam and Ted Welch's key roles in getting Republicans like Bill Haslam and U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander elected to statewide office.
The governor's brother, Jimmy, the current CEO of Pilot, was named as a state co-chairman along with Brad Martin of Memphis, Orrin Ingram of Nashville and Joe Davenport of Chattanooga.
Romney supported Bill Haslam in the 2010 governor's race.
State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville, who ran against Haslam for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last year, has endorsed presidential candidate Rick Perry.
The Perry campaign last month named Mike Curb, a music industry executive and former lieutenant governor as his honorary Tennessee campaign chairman, and Ramsey as his active state chairman.
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