By ERIK SCHELZIG
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is launching his re-election bid that bears little resemblance the often contentious campaign of four years ago.
Haslam on Saturday morning hosted a gathering at Nashville’s Loveless Cafe to celebrate the kick-off of election season.
He faces little serious competition in the primary, and will likely have a vast fundraising and name-recognition advantage over the Democratic nominee in the general election.
It was a different story four years ago, when Haslam battled three fellow Republicans for the nomination, pouring in $1.5 million of his own money in the closing weeks of the contest.
Haslam ended up capturing 47 percent of the vote in the primary, and went on to crush Democrat Mike McWherter, the son of a former governor, in the general election.
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