Hilleary, Bredesen headed for November showdown after wins

By Thomas Wilson

STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   Two gubernatorial candidates that will face off in the November election have one thing in common: Neither says a state income tax is the answer.
   Phil Bredesen unofficially won the state Democratic primary while Van Hilleary took the Republican primary according to unofficial voting results in Thursday's election.
   Bredesen won the Democratic nomination besting former Tennessee Board of Regents President Dr. Charles Smith and Randy Nichols. The ex-Nashville mayor will be making his second run at the state House after losing to Don Sundquist in 1994.
   With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Bredesen had 386,808 votes, or 79 percent, compared to 33,347 votes for Nichols and 30,061 for Smith, for a combined 13 percent.
   Bredesen received 2,210 votes in Carter County with Smith, who received 209 votes, being his closest challenger in the county.
   Bredesen took 3,210 votes to Smith's 412 votes while Nichols and Charles V. Brown each won 4 percent of the vote in Washington County.
   Other Democratic nominees receiving votes were Larry Best of Nashville, and Floyd R. Conover of Gallatin.
   Bredesen, who won his party's nomination in 1994 but lost in the general election to Sundquist, will face U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary in November.
   Hilleary beat former state GOP chairman Jim Henry in a hard fought battle for the Republican nomination.
   With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Hilleary had 64 percent of the vote, or 268,448, to Henry's 31 percent, or 128,424 votes.
   Hilleary, a four-term United States congressman from Spring City, gave up his 4th District seat in hopes of succeeding Republican Gov. Don Sundquist.
   Hilleary received 4,918 votes in Carter County with Henry garnering 3,791 votes for second in the county.
   He received 6,056 votes, or 50 percent in Washington County, compared to Henry's tally of 5,094 votes, or 42 percent.
   Other Republican primary nominees receiving votes in Carter County were Knoxville minister Bob Tripp with 371 votes, David Kelley with 338 votes and Jessie D. McDonald with 312 votes.
   All voting results are unofficial until certified by the state Election Commission.