The Mountain Press ■ Sevier County’s Daily Newspaper ■ Vol. 26, No. 307 ■ November 3, 2010 ■ www.themountainpress.com ■ 75 Cents Wednesday Haslam wins in rout INSIDE Knoxville mayor’s voter percentage hovers around 70 percent 5Highlanders sights set high G-P hopes to build on winning tradition set over past three years SPORTS, Page A8 5Mary reuniting with old friend Mary Tyler Moore will join Betty White on a “Hot in Cleveland” show CELEBRITIES, Page A6 Local Helping families hit by cancer SCHS club holding portrait drive for two local families Page A3 Weather By ERIK SCHELZIG Associated Press N A S H V I L L E — Republican Bill Haslam, fresh off his victory in the Tennessee governor’s race, is warning about “sobering challenges” facing his incoming administration. Haslam, who defeated Democrat Mike McWherter to become the state’s 49th governor, said he will go to Nashville today to work on transition issues. His top priority is preparing for a state budget that he said will shrink up to $1.5 billion after federal stimulus money runs out next year. With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Haslam had 867,347 votes, or 69 percent, to McWherter’s 405,701, or 31 percent. McWherter in his concession speech in Jackson wished Haslam success as governor, “because if he does well, the state will progress.” Democratic incumbent Gov. Phil Bredesen couldn’t run again because of term limits. Haslam overcame McWherter’s claims that he was a “billionaire oil man” and his own controversial statements on gun rights. Supporters began waving banners and cheering as word of his large margin began to spread at the Haslam campaign party at Associated Press Republican Bill Haslam shakes hands with supporters in Knoxville after he was named the winner in Tennessee’s race for governor on Tuesday. a Knoxville hotel. “I know we worked hard, but not that hard,” said Wayne Schnell, of Loudon County. “It’s been exciting and we wanted to be here for the end. It’s joyful.” Haslam was president of the family-owned Pilot chain of truck stops, one of High: 62° Tonight Low: 45° By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer DETAILS, Page A6 Obituaries Anne Ripley, 87 Joann Onspaugh, 83 Mary Weatherly, 95 Samuel Cooper, 74 Charlie Neely, 72 Linda Williams, 44 Donald Beasecker, 78 DETAILS, Page A4 Index The Mountain Press is committed to accuracy. Please report factual errors by calling 428-0748 Ext. 214. as they stand now, but that he would defer to the will of the Legislature. McWherter ended up just as unsuccessful as Haslam’s GOP rivals during the primary in attacking the mayor for his See HASLAM, Page A2 Montgomery wins after suffering mild heart attack Mostly cloudy Corrections he called his “reckless” pledge that he’d sign into law a potential measure to eliminate requirements to obtain a state-issued permit to carry handguns in public. Haslam stressed that he preferred keep the laws governing the state’s 300,000 permit holders Sevier County voters pick winners across the board Today Mostly cloudy Local & State . . . . A1-A6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . A3 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . A8-A10 Money . . . . . . . . . . . . A5 Advice . . . . . . . . . . . A15 Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . A15 Classifieds . . . . . A12-A14 Nation . . . . . . . . ,A5,A16 World . . . . . . . . . . . . . A5 the country’s largest privately owned companies, until he was elected mayor of Knoxville in 2003. McWherter, son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, failed to capitalize on his famous family name. The Democrat recently hit Haslam over what Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press Voters in Pittman Center have a little more incentive to vote as Herbert Williford, 81, provides his homemade jams, jellies, bread and cookies every election day. Local voters picked a full slate of winners Tuesday, choosing the eventual victor by wide margins in every race on ballots in the area. From the top of the ticket, where Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam crushed businessman Mike McWherter by more than seven to one, to the local races for state House, Sevier County residents were perfect in voting for the candidate who came out on top. Of course, that may have more to do with the fact that this was a good year for Republicans, which this area favors strongly, than the possibility that local residents would be good at the blackjack tables. Of the five partisan races on the ballot here, no Democrat came within even 2,000 of their opponents. While it was a day of celebrations for members of the GOP, there were some scary moments for at least one Republican Inside A2 — Dems lose control of state Congressional majority A4 — GOP adds seats in General Assembly A16 — GOP nears House control, piles up wins candidate. Rep. Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville, had to undergo emergency surgery Tuesday afternoon to place a pair of stints around his heart after he suffered a mild heart attack. “He had been having some discomfort for a while and he was actually scheduled to see a heart specialist next week, but we decided he didn’t need to be going around like that,” Montgomery’s wife Ann said late Tuesday. “He is resting now and doing well. The doctors said if everything goes well he might be able to go home tomorrow.” Haslam, who was called the winner early in the evening by media outlets See SEVIER COUNTY, Page A5 Liquor referendum supporters gather petition signatures at polls By JEFF FARRELL Staff Writer SEVIERVILLE — Supporters of a referendum on whether to allow package stores in Sevierville said they would regroup and try again to get the needed signatures on a petition, and Tuesday they were back with a new strategy. A few months ago, the signatures collected on their first petition turned out to include more people from outside the city than inside it. They fell short of the 310 signatures. They were collecting signatures at Sevierville voting precincts Tuesday, which they hoped would ensure that is not a problem this time. “I think we’ve already got out signatures or we’re really close,” said local businessman Tony Duckworth, who is once again spearheading the effort. “I’ll be doing the count (Tuesday night).” The petition must be signed by a number of registered voters Jeff Farrell/The Mountain Press from Sevierville that equals at Bartender Christian Pinkham was among those taking sigleast 10 percent of the total voters natures for a petition to put a referendum on next year’s city election ballot for voters to decide whether liquor See REFERENDUM, Page A4 stores should be allowed inside the city.