Tennesseans should be very interested, and very pleased, that we have two - count 'em - candidates running for governor of Tennessee with both of them declaring themselves to be "conservatives"!
We usually have one conservative vs. one liberal in major contests. But Republican Mayor Bill Haslam of Knoxville describes himself as a "conservative," and Democrat gubernatorial nominee Mike McWherter visited the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial board yesterday, declaring, "I consider myself to be a conservative" - and a Democrat!
Candidate McWherter is the 54-year-old son of outstanding former Tennessee Gov. Ned McWherter, who served well as a Democrat governor of Tennessee from 1987 to 1995.
Current candidate Mr. McWherter graduated from Union City High School, then went on to study law at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Law School. He practiced law in Nashville, before moving to Jackson, Tenn., where he heads the Budweiser distributorship in that area.
Mr. McWherter says he expects to have a smaller state budget if he is elected governor, and emphasizes creating small businesses and more jobs, with better educational opportunities for Tennesseans.
Mr. McWherter's tax and job plan involves offering a $2,500 state tax credit for each new job created by a small business with 125 or fewer employees. He foresees no tax increase, and opposes a general Tennessee income tax.
We believe Tennesseans are in an unusual and fortunate situation with both candidates for governor of Tennessee declaring themselves to be "conservatives."
With respect for Mr. McWherter and his policies, the Free Press has endorsed Mayor Haslam for election as governor of Tennessee in the November general election.