Republican Bill Haslam elected Tennessee governor

The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 8:37 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Republican Bill Haslam has been elected Tennessee's 49th governor, overcoming his rival's claims that he was a "billionaire oil man" and his own controversial statements on gun rights.

With less than 1 percent of precincts reporting, Haslam had 71 percent of the vote to Democrat Mike McWherter's 27 percent.

Haslam was president of the family-owned Pilot chain of truck stops, one of the country's largest privately owned companies, until he was elected mayor of Knoxville in 2003.

McWherter, son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, failed to capitalize on his famous family name.

The Democrat recently hit Haslam over what he called his "reckless" pledge that he would sign into law a potential measure to eliminate requiring state-issued permit to carry handguns in public.

© 2010 The Associated Press