Gov. Bill Haslam announces re-election campaign

10:11 PM, Dec 17, 2012   |    comments
Gov. Bill Haslam
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By Chas Sisk / The Tennessean

Gov. Bill Haslam said he will run for re-election in 2014 and already has planned a pair of fundraisers, his first steps toward a second term.

"I've always intended, regardless of the circumstances, to do this," he said. "We worked hard to be here, we've worked hard, and I feel like we've accomplished a lot while we've been here, and I can promise you we'll work hard to be re-elected."

Haslam's comments are the first formal indication that he will run again, though the bid has been widely expected.

His statement came after Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander announced will run for a third term in 2014, eliminating the only other statewide office on the ballot that year. Haslam's statement also comes days after House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, told reporters that he would be willing to challenge Haslam in 2014.

Haslam said he lined up fundraisers in Knoxville and in Nashville, away from the governor's Executive Residence. The events will take place before the legislature reconvenes in January, he said.

The timing of the fundraisers suggests Haslam plans a schedule similar to his successful 2010 campaign. Back then, as now, Haslam kicked off his campaign nearly two years before the election, with a series of fundraisers in January 2008.

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