Harwell: No privatization of Tennessee park services as gov

Beth Harwell (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell says she won’t privatize services at Tennessee state parks if she is elected governor.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Harwell’s position is at odds with term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam’s longtime pursuit of outsourcing more functions at the parks.

Harwell, who is the speaker of the state House of Representatives, said privatizing hospitality, food and other services at state parks is a “touchy point for our rural areas,” and that she would not pursue Haslam’s goals in that area.

The governor’s outsourcing plans for state parks foundered when outside vendors didn’t show an interest in taking on contracts to run them. Haslam has said he will leave it to the next governor to decide whether to move ahead with the privatization push at parks.

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