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Bill Haslam
William Edward "Bill" Haslam (23 August 1958-) was Governor of Tennessee (R) from 15 January 2011, succeeding Phil Bredesen. Haslam, formerly President of the Pilot Corporation and Mayor of Knoxville, was known for his opposition to LGBT rights, his promotion of low taxes, and his pro-life stances.

Biography

William Edward Haslam was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on 23 August 1958, the son of Pilot Corporation businessman Jim Haslam and the brother of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. He graduated from Emory University with a bachelor's degree in history in 1980, and he later became President of the Pilot Corporation in 1995, with his brother serving as CEO and his father as Chairman. In 2002, the businessman Haslam ran for Mayor of Knoxville, winning with 52% of the vote and taking office on 20 December 2003. He made his Democratic Party rival Madeline Rogero Director of Community Development, as he was inspired by Abraham Lincoln's appointment of former rivals to his cabinet. Haslam was known for his historical preservation efforts, for spurring retail and residential growth in Downtown Knoxville, and for doubling the city's savings during his first term. In 2010, Haslam ran for Governor of Tennessee, campaigning on executive experience and on his legacy as Mayor of Knoxville, and he defeated Mike McWherter with 65% of the vote. He failed to defund Planned Parenthood, overturned a Nashville ordinance that prevented discrimination against homosexuals seeking employment in companies seeking city contracts, implemented voter ID laws, lifted the cap on the number of charter schools in the state, implemented a curfew on Occupy Nashville protests, refused to implement parts of the Affordable Care Act, signed into law a measure that would allow for narcotics-using pregnant women to be charged with assault, and signed a bill that encouraged judges to fight against marriage equality. However, he vetoed a bill to make the Bible the state book of Tennessee and also vetoed the repeal of a Vanderbilt University policy that barred student religious organizations from excluding members based on differing religious beliefs.

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