Now that it is official that Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam will be the next governor, speculation will begin on cabinet appointments. Insiders say it is likely that Haslam will ask his deputy Larry Martin to go to Nashville in some capacity. Haslam has set policy in his time as mayor but Martin, a former banker, has been instrumental in running the city day to day—especially during the last 18 months of Haslam’s gubernatorial campaign.
Will Haslam also look locally for someone to head industrial recruitment for the state, a high priority for Haslam during his campaign? The brightest star in local industrial recruitment is Rhonda Rice, at the Knox Area Chamber Partnership. She is credited with helping land companies for the local area, including in Clinton and Blount County.