Blackburn-Bredesen race dividing families?

The U.S. Senate race between Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen is dividing families in the Knoxville area, says Victor Ashe in his latest column.

A few weeks ago, Hash Hashemian hosted a Blackburn event at his large home on the lake along with Gov. Bill Haslam; the governor’s father, Jim Haslam; and GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd.

This week, on Wednesday, June 20, Sharon Pryse, a Republican who is close to Haslam (he appointed her to the UT board of trustees), is hosting an event for Bredesen at her Kingston Pike home. Co-hosting it are Raja and Michelle Jubran (he is a key Haslam backer, vice chair of the UT board and active in many GOP causes). Even more interesting, Nazzy Hashemian, wife of Hash Hashemian, who had the Blackburn event, is listed as a co-host for Bredesen. She and her husband are backing different candidates.

Other well known Knoxvillians on the Bredesen committee include businessman Jim Clayton, Steve and April Harris, Fred Langley, Mary Ellen Brewington and Bob Petrone. This will be a close race with the winner having a razor thin margin in my view.

Former Democratic Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is also having a fundraiser the same night at the home of Todd Cramer and Ernie Hoskins on Shadyland Drive in West Knoxville. This fundraiser is in the $250 per person range, while the Bredesen event is a suggested $1,000 a person.

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