- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Democrat Bill Freeman, who spent $3.5 million of his own money in his failed bid for Nashville mayor in 2015, says he won’t run for governor next year.

The Nashville real estate investor tells WZTV-TV (https://bit.ly/2lYk9Jg ) that he won’t support former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s bid to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. Freeman says he is encouraging House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley to seek the Democratic nomination.

Some Democrats are uneasy about Dean’s support for expanding charter schools and his pro-business platform. Those positions could be at odds with the traditional Democratic constituencies of public school teachers and trade unions.

Dean and Republican state Sen. Mark Green of Ashland City are the only candidates to formally join the race so far, but several more candidates are expected.

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Information from: WZTV-TV, https://www.wztv.com

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