Haslam backs state legislator for mayor over educator opponent

Gov. Bill Haslam has endorsed the election of state Rep. Kevin Brooks as mayor of Cleveland, joining outgoing mayor Tom Rowland and other area officials at a campaign rally Friday, reports the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Rowland announced in January he would retire as mayor and support Brooks (R-Cleveland) as his successor and Brooks announced at the same time he would not seek reelection to the legislature. The situation has “raised eyebrows of some in the community,” says the Banner – especially those of Duane Schriver, a former teacher and school principal who is opposing Brooks.

During his speech, Brooks intimated that he was aware of the controversy surrounding the January announcement.

“This will not be good old boy government, but city government,” Brooks said.

…After stepping onto the dais, Haslam stood beside the lectern and described how he and Brooks had worked together to lower taxes and state debt.

“They were hard decisions to make, and Kevin constantly made those decisions,” Haslam said.

He also touted Brooks’ determination in bringing a veterans home to the Cleveland and Bradley County community. The governor, whose second term ends in January, remarked that being mayor of a city is sometimes a better job in political life.

“You’re right in the middle of the people you represent,” Haslam said. “And Kevin knows he’s been called to service.”

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