NASHVILLE - Knoxville Mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam is running a Memphis-specific ad on Memphis broadcast and cable TV that emphasizes his wife's ties to the city. Crissy Garrett Haslam is a Memphis native who married Haslam 29 years ago.
The ad opens with Kempie Jenkins, a Memphis teacher and friend of Mrs. Haslam's since high school, talking about the Haslams. The other visuals include scenes of Memphis landmarks like Beale Street, the Main Street trolly, Autozone Park and the Hernando DeSoto Bridge.
Haslam is running against state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp of Chattanooga for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. He did a two-day campaign swing through Memphis and Millington Wednesday and today that included former U.S. Senator Howard Baker at Haslam's new Memphis campaign headquarters in Eastgate shopping center.
The campaign also announced that Memphis lawyer and former U.S. Atty. David Kustoff, formerly statewide campaign chairman of Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons' gubernatorial campaign that ended last month, is now backing Haslam and has agreed to serve as one of his statewide co-chairmen.
The Memphis ad is the first and only city-specific ad the Haslam camp has aired, and was part of the campaign's ad plan from the outset, said campaign spokesman David Smith.
Haslam switched a scheduled door-knocking tour through an East Memphis neighborhood to tour flood damaged areas in the Millington area this afternoon.