Republican U.S. Senate nominee Marsha Blackburn on Tuesday announced that Jim Haslam II and Stephen B. Smith will serve as Marsha For Senate finance chairmen.
“Everyone knows that both Mr. Haslam and Steve are effective statewide leaders for Tennessee. I am so grateful to have their support,” Blackburn said. “Throughout the campaign, I have called on them for their advice and I appreciate their counsel and their friendship. In their new role, they plan to bring an unrivaled depth of leadership and experience to our campaign. I look forward to working even more closely with them as we work to win this race and serve the people of Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.”
Haslam, the father of Gov. Bill Haslam, said, “Tennesseans know Marsha Blackburn, and they trust her to do exactly what she says she will. We all know she will fight for lower taxes, less regulation, the rule of law, and judges who will be faithful to the Constitution. We have the opportunity to send a Senator to Washington and change the course of the country for years to come, and that person is Marsha Blackburn. We all need to give her our unwavering support and do everything we can to ensure she is our next United States Senator.”
“November’s election is not about the past. It is about the future of the country for generations to come, and I cannot think of anyone better qualified to represent Tennesseans in the Senate than Marsha Blackburn,” said Smith, the chair of Franklin-based Haury & Smith Contractors. “You will not find a more principled, passionate, hard-working public servant than Marsha. No one has worked harder for Tennesseans, and I know that commitment will only grow in the Senate. I look forward to working with the entire campaign to make sure Marsha is elected.”
“We are so excited Mr. Haslam and Steve are formally joining Marsha for Senate,” said campaign manager Kevin Golden. “We could not have asked for more effective leaders to be a part of our team, and we’re so grateful to have them engaged in every aspect of the campaign. We are going to continue to fight every day to send Marsha Blackburn to the Senate and ensure that Tennessee has a positive, conservative leader in the Senate.”
Jim Haslam II founded the Pilot Corporation, a petroleum company based in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1958. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and served as a trustee for 27 years and as both vice chairman and chairman of the Executive Committee. He has been the chairman of the board of the Greater Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Knoxville, Webb School of Knoxville, the Public Building Authority and United Way of Greater Knoxville. He founded the Haslam Family Foundation, which has contributed millions of dollars to charitable organizations over the years. Haslam has served as state finance chair for Howard Baker for Senate, Lamar Alexander for Governor, Bill Frist for Senate and twice was George W. Bush’s Tennessee finance chairman. He served four times as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and was a member of the Platform Committee in 1984. He and his wife, Natalie, have six adult children, 18 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Steve Smith is Chairman of Haury & Smith Contractors, a long time Middle Tennessee construction and development firm. The family-owned company is now run by a second generation of the Smith family. Smith also serves on the Board of Trustees for Middle Tennessee State University, of which he is a graduate. In 2014, the University honored him with the Distinguished Alumni Award. He served as State Finance Chairman for Senator Lamar Alexander in 2008 and 2014, as well as National Finance Co-Chair for Senator Alexander’s presidential campaigns in 1996 and 2000. In 2004, Smith was one of the top three Tennessee fundraisers for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign. He has also served as National Finance Chairman for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s leadership committee. Most recently, Smith served as State Finance Chairman for Randy Boyd for Governor. He has also served as a leader in numerous groups in his community. Steve and his wife, Denise, have two sons.