Dana Perino surprised many when she said on the “The Five” to keep an eye on Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in 2016. I admit, it took me by surprise. But why should it? Let’s take a closer look at Haslam.
- Balanced 8 consecutive budgets as Mayor of Knoxville
- Tripled Rainy Day Fund for city
- Reelected Mayor with 87% of the vote
- In 2009 alone, Haslam fundraised over $5.7million for his primary campaign for TN Governor
- Elected with 65% of the vote in 2010 and in 2014 won every county cruising to reelection with over 70%
- Barron’s Magazine named TN named 3rd best managed state in the nation
- TN created over 168,000 jobs since 2011
- Business Facilities Magazine named TN 2013 “State of the Year”
- TN’s unemployment rate dropped 2.2% since he took office
- Proposed school voucher plan and removing restrictions on charter schools
- Cut food taxes and increased educational funds while maintaining a balanced budget
- Eliminated or combined 24 boards and commissions while cutting 187 government appointees
There’s too many great accomplishments to list here; check out his website for more: http://www.billhaslam.com/home/
To top it off, his brother owns the Cleveland Browns. Any Ohio connection in politics is a good connection. His family is extremely wealthy, owning Pilot Flying J.
Primary voters tend to favor governors, particularly successful ones. It’s hard to argue that there is currently a GOP Governor out there who has been more successful than Haslam. Haslam has no problem campaigning and he’s quite comfortable electrifying large crowds with policy speeches. If he decides to run, it will be very difficult for primary voters to ignore him.