Haslam to Have Opponent

Gov. Bill Haslam will have at least one opponent in his re-election bid.

John Jay Hooker was expected to turn in a petition this week to run for governor as an independent. Hooker will use the gubernatorial campaign to also campaign against appointed appeals court justices who are up for retention election in August. Hooker has filed lawsuits arguing that appointing appeals court justices, including the state Supreme Court, violates the state constitution, which says they should be elected.

A special Supreme Court panel turned away his latest suit saying retention elections suffice.

Hooker is 82 years old and said in an interview that he decided not to run as a Democrat so as not to get in the way of the party's two senatorial candidates against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander.