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Bredesen wins Tennessee governorship


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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- Former Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, defeated four-term Rep. Van Hilleary in the race for Tennessee governor, CNN projected.

Hilleary, a congressman who first took office in 1995, went to great lengths to distance himself from fellow Republican and unpopular Gov. Don Sundquist.

Sundquist's approval ratings tanked last year after he pushed for a state income tax, a plan that failed but nonetheless alienated fiscal conservatives. Sundquist was barred from seeking re-election due to term limits.

Hilleary opposed an income tax, and reminded voters of that fact. He also got a key boost from the National Rifle Association, which gave him an "A" for his voting record in Congress.

After building a fortune in the health-care industry, Bredesen served as the mayor of Tennessee's capital from 1991 until 1999. He lost to Sundquist in the state's 1994 gubernatorial election.

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