NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The election for Tennessee governor is more than a year away, but Saturday, a number of candidates officially kicked off the race together.
One event brought together all five of the Republican candidates. The Davidson County GOP held a picnic Saturday afternoon at Centennial Park. More than 175 people, even in the rain. The event allowed people to meet and greet with the five Republican Gubernatorial candidates.
The picnic was a fundraiser for the party, but voters got a chance to ask the candidates questions individually in a relaxed setting.
The candidates are U.S. Representative Zach Wamp, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, Shelby County D.A. Bill Gibbons, and Joe Kirkpatrick.
There was also a straw poll. Those who attended were able to vote on issues like wine in grocery stores, the convention center, even who they wanted to represent the Republican Party during the Governor's Race in 2010.
A lot of people who attended said this was the perfect time to get to know candidates in what is expected to be a long race.
"I think we get to learn about them as people because you get to elect a governor who's a person. I think we get to learn about their platform, get comfortable with them and the issues they're running on and how they can support the Republicans in the state of Tennessee," said voter Greg Clawson.
One set of results from the straw poll Saturday, show a tie between U.S. Representative Zach Wamp and Lt. Governor Ramsey to represent the Republican Party in the 2010 Governor's race. Of course, those results are only indicative of the opinions of those who attended the picnic.
Tennessee's primary election for governor is next August. Then, the Democrat candidate and Republican candidate will square-off in the November generalelection. The winner will be sworn into office in January of 2011.