Tennessee Governor Says He's Going To Try To Help Republican Lawmakers Win, Not Trump | Nashville Public Radio

Tennessee Governor Says He's Going To Try To Help Republican Lawmakers Win, Not Trump

Jun 30, 2016

Governor Bill Haslam may not ever endorse Donald Trump. Tennessee’s Republican Governor has been hesitant to give his official support for the GOP nominee. Haslam now says he doesn’t plan to focus on the presidential race. 

A month ago, Governor Haslam had never met Donald Trump. He refused to endorse the billionaire businessman until they talked about shared concerns in person. He had that meeting two weeks ago, and is now backing away from offering his support. 

“I haven’t been real excited about some of the things he said. I guess that’s the best way to put it. I think he’ll win in Tennessee, but my endorsement probably won’t impact that one way or another," Haslam said. "I’m going to focus on those candidates, both in our state legislature and in the US Senate, where I think keeping the balance there in the right hands is incredibly important.” 

Trump swept all but one of Tennessee’s 95 counties in the primary. In May, he was leading Hilary Clinton by 9 points, according to a Vanderbilt poll. 

There has been a general lack of enthusiasm for Trump by elected officials. Senator Lamar Alexander has not endorsed him. Senator Bob Corker backed off his support for Trump after his Orlando comments.    

Randy Boyd, the head of the Tennessee Department of Community Development, has also abstained from endorsing Trump.