Gibbons discusses run for governor - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Gibbons discusses run for governor

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    Gibbons to run for governor

    Gibbons to run for governor

    Sunday, January 4 2009 11:36 PM EST2009-01-05 04:36:01 GMT
    Just hours after Bill Frist announced he will not run for Tennessee governor, Shelby County District Attorney General Billy Gibbons formally announced that he will seek the republican nomination in the August 2010 primary. More >>

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The race to be Tennessee's next governor is underway after former Senate Majority leader Bill Frist announced Sunday he would not be running for the office in next years election.

Soon after Frist's announcement Sunday, Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons was first to make his intentions known.  Monday, he discussed his upcoming bid for the office.

"I am running for Governor in the August 2010 Republican primary," he said.

Gibbons said Frist has given him a lot of advice, but has not formally endorsed anyone.

Gibbons, a former Memphis City council member and former Shelby County Commissioner said public safety is his top priority, and he has a clear plan.

"Eliminate parole for violent crime such as aggravated robbery, provide tougher sentences for crimes committed with guns, provide tougher sentences for gang related crimes," he said.

Better schools also top his list.  Gibbons said Tennessee may have a rude awakening when it's soon required to meet new federal standards, But he wasn't as clear on his plan.

"Instilling high expectations in our students - demanding and expecting high performance from our teachers, but during the course of the campaign, I will be specific about that, he said.

Gibbons was very clear about how he thinks a governor should tackle the state's 1.4 billion dollar debt: the state needs to work within its means, with no tax increases and no income tax.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's off the table," he said.

Gibbons said he would focus on economic growth and recover, enforcing tax collections, and spending dollars wisely.

Gibbons wasn't alone in signaling his intentions to run for governor.  Monday, Republican U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp of Chattanooga said he will run for governor of Tennessee in 2010, now that Bill Frist has said he won't be a candidate.

Wamp said in a statement that he will be traveling in the 3rd congressional district that he has represented 14 years in the coming days. Wamp said he plans to file paperwork to begin raising money for the gubernatorial race.

Frist said Sunday that he will not be a candidate for governor. The former Senate majority leader said it would require him to immediately curtail his education and health care commitments.

Democrat Phil Bredesen is serving his second term as governor and cannot seek re-election.

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