NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday he has "some real concerns about the long-term future of the Republican Party" nationally.
"When we're losing the way we are with women and minorities and millenials, that's a concern to me," Haslam, a Republican, said.
The governor has previously voiced aloud worries about GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and recently said he would not vote for Trump and instead write in another Republican in the Nov. 8 election.
A billionaire businessman and one-time reality TV star, Trump has been engulfed for several weeks regarding his lewd comments about women in a recently released recording of a 2005 conversation - after which at least 10 women have come forward and accused Trump of having groped or forcibly kissed them in the past.
Trump has also alienated a number of Hispanic voters by his comments as well.
But Haslam himself has come under fire from several Tennessee county GOP organizations for announcing earlier this month he would not vote for nominee Trump after the billionaire's 2005 conversation with Billy Bush, then-host of "Access Hollywood," became public.
The Coffee County and Fayette County Republican Parties have passed resolutions condemning the governor for his statement and expressing concerns over the impact on down-ballot contests. Several other county parties have reportedly taken similar action.
Asked about those actions, Haslam, who has been campaigning for Republican state legislative candidates this week, said, "I understand and believe me, I'm not at all excited about Hillary Trump - Hillary Clinton - as president and I did not vote for her. I'll say that really clearly."
The governor voted earlier Thursday in Knoxville but wouldn't say which Republican he wrote in.
He then addressed his concerns with the GOP's direction.
"But I've said before I have some real concerns about the long-term future of the Republican Party when we're losing the way we are with women and minorities and millenials, that's a concern to me," the governor added. "Long term I have all the faith in the world that our party will continue to represent the things it's represented."
Haslam also he is pleased Shelby County authorities won't pursue an investigation into pop star Justin Timberlake, a Memphis native, who took a photo of himself voting in Shelby and posted it on Instagram.
Taking a photo in a polling place without permission is a violation of Tennessee law.
"I'm glad to see Justin's not going to get into trouble for taking a selfie in the booth," Haslam said. "I think the voter turnout is encouraging. Regardless of who you're voting for, it matters to vote. and I'm incredibly encouraged that Tennesseans are turning out in these record numbers."
The governor's comments with reporters came following an event celebrating Tennessee students' success in national science assessments, announced earlier Thursday.