It was a bit of a surprise to legislators last year that incoming Gov. Bill Haslam named rural West Tennessee Mayor Dale Kelley, who is in his 70s, his director of legislation for this past session. Kelley had state government experience, but it was during the administration of Gov. Lamar Alexander and with the turnover in the past decades few legislators remembered him.
Haslam named Leslie Hafner as Kelley’s deputy. Hafner is an experienced lobbyist who has worked for Bass Berry & Sims law firm and for Corrections Corp. of America. With the end of the session, Kelley has announced he is going home and will work on special projects for Haslam in West Tennessee. Hafner will take over as director of legislation.