Republicans hold annual Statesmen’s Dinner, honor Sen. Fred Thompson

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The late Sen. Fred Thompson was honored as one of the legends of Tennessee politics at the TN GOP Statesmen’s Dinner Friday night.

Around 1,200 people attended the event at Nashville’s Music City Center.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was the keynote speaker.

Gov. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, talked at great length about race relations in her home state and nationwide.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

She said the Republican Party needs to change its approach and better serve minorities.

“If we scream less and listen more, we can make a lot of progress and we can do it together,” Haley said.

Other Republicans stressed the importance of the upcoming presidential election.

They all want to beat Hillary Clinton, but not everyone is ready to endorse Donald Trump.

Sen. Lamar Alexander said, “I’m going to support the nominee when we have one and focus on re-electing a Republican Senate.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Haslam has questions he would like to ask the presumptive nominee.

“I’ve said before, I have a few questions I’d love to talk about with Donald Trump,” said Haslam. “I think there’s a group of governors going to meet with him in a few weeks and I look forward to those conversations.”

The annual dinner is the largest fundraiser for the Tennessee Republican Party, with more than $600,000 raised this year.

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