JACKSON - Cyndi Bryant, a longtime pro-life advocate across Tennessee, endorsed Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam today in his bid for the Republican nomination for Tennessee Governor.
A key and well-respected leader for Republican women across the state, Bryant will hold a state leadership position in the Haslam campaign as Chair of the Women's Coalition for Haslam, and her announcement comes after recent endorsements of Haslam's gubernatorial campaign by other Republican political figures across the state.
"As an advocate for conservative issues, I know a conservative when I meet one, and Bill Haslam is a true fiscal and social conservative," Bryant said. "He's pro-life, strong on guns, believes the best gift a child can have is a mother and father, and has the proven record as Mayor of Knoxville of a rock solid fiscal conservative.
"Tennessee's next governor must be someone who has balanced budgets and made the tough calls before, and Bill's leadership experience in the public and private sector speaks for itself," Bryant said.
As mayor, Haslam led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city's debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family's small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee's largest companies with 14,000 employees. Haslam is in his second term as the Republican Mayor of Knoxville, and he was reelected in 2007 with 87 percent of the vote.
"We need a governor who is smart, experienced and level-headed to lead this state out of these current tough times, and Bill is the right leader at the right time," Bryant added.
Former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman and current State House Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, endorsed Haslam Saturday, saying he has the strongest ideas for improving education and the proven record of limited government, lowering spending and creating jobs.
U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., recently endorsed Haslam, Duncan's first ever endorsement in a Republican statewide primary, and several high-level supporters of a former opponent, including former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, joined the Haslam campaign at the opening of the campaign's Memphis office. Duncan was named an Honorary Campaign Co-Chairman, and Harwell and Kustoff will serve as statewide campaign co-chairs for the Haslam campaign. Former Sen. Howard Baker is the campaign's Honorary Chairman.
"I want to thank Cyndi for her outstanding work advocating for conservative issues all across the state," Haslam said. "She is very experienced on the campaign trail, and I look forward to having that experience on the campaign's leadership team."